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US Army Selects Lockheed, Northrop for Drone Defense Systems

US Army Selects Lockheed, Northrop for Drone Defense Systems

Drone Defense Systems

The US Army has chosen two top defense companies, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, to create monitoring and jamming systems for drones, which can be deployed from moving vehicles or larger planes. On November 29, the Army’s Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) revealed the recipients of other transaction authority (OTA) agreements for an infrared and electronic warfare-based launched-effects initiative. This initiative aims to develop advanced capabilities for detecting, tracking, and countering enemy drones through the use of both infrared and electronic warfare technologies. The two leading defense companies will work on creating innovative systems that can be integrated seamlessly with the Army’s existing platforms, enhancing the overall effectiveness of their drone defense strategy.

Preliminary awards and development focus

The preliminary awards amount to several hundred thousand dollars and focus on the advancement of existing technologies. The PEO IEW&S office, which also works on biometric tools, mentioned that the eventual value of these awards could reach tens of millions of dollars as the Army investigates both ground-launched and air-launched effects. These investments signify the Army’s commitment to enhancing and refining their warfare capabilities through cutting-edge technology. By exploring both ground-launched and air-launched effects, the military aims to increase its tactical advantage and ensure a strong defense infrastructure for the future.

Shift in US military focus

As the US shifts its attention from counterinsurgency efforts in the Middle East towards potential large-scale conflicts with Russia and China, launched effects are deemed essential for the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft projects. These projects aim to provide the military with cutting-edge technology and capabilities, enabling them to effectively engage in various types of combat scenarios. Developing advanced reconnaissance and assault aircraft is crucial for maintaining a strategic advantage in potential future conflicts with near-peer adversaries, ensuring the United States remains prepared and agile in the ever-evolving global security landscape.

Extended reach and increased safety

This technology aims to extend the Army’s reach without endangering more lives and has been successfully tested previously, such as during Project Convergence, the Army’s emerging technology testing ground. Utilizing advanced robotics and AI systems, the technology enables military personnel to carry out missions more efficiently and safely, while minimizing risks. As the technology continues to be refined through rigorous testing and development, its potential applications within the Army are vast – including enhanced reconnaissance, improved crisis response, and increased operational capabilities.

Successful demonstrations and milestones

In January, Lockheed revealed that its Eaglet launched-effect completed its maiden flight when it was released from an Army-controlled Gray Eagle Extended Range Unmanned Aircraft System during a Utah demonstration. During this groundbreaking event, the Gray Eagle successfully deployed the Eaglet and demonstrated its ability to communicate and work seamlessly with the larger drone. This marks a significant milestone in the development of autonomous teaming between unmanned aerial systems, paving the way for more advanced, cooperative aerial missions in the future.

Industry giants pushing the boundaries

Lockheed is the largest defense contractor in the world in terms of revenue, earning $63 billion in 2022, while Northrop Grumman ranked third, with earnings of $32 billion within the same timeframe. These two industry juggernauts are responsible for innovations in aerospace and security, continuously pushing the boundaries of military and defense technology. Their ongoing competition and collaboration serve as driving forces behind advancements that bolster national security and global defense capabilities.

First Reported on: c4isrnet.com

FAQs

What is the purpose of the partnership between the US Army and defense companies Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman?

The partnership aims to create monitoring and jamming systems for drones that can be deployed from moving vehicles or larger planes, enhancing the US Army’s drone defense strategy. The project will focus on developing advanced capabilities for detecting, tracking, and countering enemy drones through the use of infrared and electronic warfare technologies.

What is the value of the preliminary awards for the project?

The preliminary awards amount to several hundred thousand dollars and focus on the advancement of existing technologies. The eventual value of these awards could reach tens of millions of dollars as the Army investigates both ground-launched and air-launched effects of the project.

How does this project relate to the shift in the US military’s focus?

As the US military shifts its attention towards potential large-scale conflicts with Russia and China, launched effects are deemed essential for the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft projects. These projects aim to provide the military with cutting-edge technology and capabilities, enabling them to effectively engage in various types of combat scenarios.

What are the benefits of the technology developed through this partnership?

This technology aims to extend the Army’s reach without endangering more lives, enabling military personnel to carry out missions more efficiently and safely while minimizing risks. The potential applications include enhanced reconnaissance, improved crisis response, and increased operational capabilities.

What are some milestones that have already been achieved?

In January, Lockheed revealed that its Eaglet launched-effect completed its maiden flight when it was released from an Army-controlled Gray Eagle Extended Range Unmanned Aircraft System during a Utah demonstration. This event marked a significant milestone in the development of autonomous teaming between unmanned aerial systems, paving the way for more advanced, cooperative aerial missions in the future.

What are the roles of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in the project?

As leading defense contractors, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are responsible for innovations in aerospace and security. Their ongoing competition and collaboration serve as driving forces behind advancements that bolster national security and global defense capabilities. They will work on creating innovative systems that can be integrated seamlessly with the Army’s existing platforms.

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