Building Out the Capabilities of the Global Observor UAV


2014-02-12 by Danielle Lucey
AeroVironment Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp. announced today that they have agreed to jointly pursue unmanned aircraft systems development opportunities.

AeroVironment, which is known for its small UAS like the Raven, Puma and Wasp, says that the primary focus of the collaboration relates to integrating Lockheed Martin mission systems, ground systems and technology with AeroVironment’s Global Observer — a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft that can stay aloft for up to a week.

Global Observor UAV. Photo Credit: AeroVirionment.
Global Observor UAV. Photo Credit: AeroVirionment.

“Numerous customers are seeking persistent solutions for wide-area applications, such as border surveillance and communications, that are much more affordable than those available previously,” says Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

“Lockheed Martin’s broad systems integration expertise gives us the opportunity to work together and develop innovative, end-to-end atmospheric satellite systems built around Global Observer that deliver breakthrough capabilities to customers.”

Lockheed has made a lot of headway itself in the UAS market in the past few years, buying up unmanned systems companies and suppliers like CDL Systems, Chandler/May Inc. and Procerus Technologies.

Until now, Lockheed’s long-endurance unmanned systems focus has been primarily on lighter-than-air vehicles. Lockheed has collaborated with other companies in the past on projects like the vertical takeoff and landing aircraft K-MAX, which it makes in collaboration with Kaman Aerospace. Lockheed has also has a history making reconnaissance platforms, like the RQ-170, and it is a player in the Unmanned Carrier Launch Airborne Surveillance Strike program.

“At Lockheed Martin, we look forward to partnering with AeroVironment to potentially develop integrated solutions for the unmanned systems market,” says Paul Lemmo, Lockheed Martin senior vice president, corporate strategy and business development. “Using our expertise in systems integration and AeroVironment’s knowledge of unmanned aircraft solutions, we will together look for opportunities to develop innovative technologies that create value for new and existing customers.”

Republished with permission of our partner AUVSI