Lockheed Martin Skunk Works demos autonomous reconnaissance pod

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works demos autonomous reconnaissance pod – link

Source: Flight Global

Article Headlines

  • Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs, known as Skunk Works, has demonstrated an artificial intelligence-powered intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) pod autonomously searching out and confirming a target
  • The demonstration was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California using an ISR pod mounted on a Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter, says the company on 8 May
  • The pod was able “to detect and identify the location of the target, automatically route to the target, and capture an image to confirm the target in a simulated, denied-communications environment,” says Lockheed Martin
  • The company did not disclose other details, such as how communications were denied, though typically that means radio jamming
  • Using artificial intelligence to conduct an ISR mission could allow a UAV to push deeper into enemy airspace where communications could be limited. It could also let aircraft operate in radio silence, making them harder to detect

Overview & Comments

  • Current operational, mainstream, MALE / HALE UASs are great at their contribution in asymmetric theatres
  • However, recent events, as well as rising operational requirements dictate that their contribution to potential areas of operations will not be as effective – i.e. the downing of the MQ-4C by Iran
  • A conflict with a state player is more than possible these days than in previous years. State actors such as Iran, North Korea or even Russia & China with relevance to various geographical areas of interest
  • State actors with advanced air defense layers that common UAS will not be able to operate in without almost full air superiority
  • Aside from straight-forward air defense systems, UAVs obtain additional “soft-spots” that will be targeted by potential foes. For example, the datalink, satellites & fixed GCSs
  • See “The Army is moving forward with its electronic warfare pod”
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Contact Us

And find how our services can benefit your company

Latest articles