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More surveillance balloons ordered by Army

June 30, 2011 at 9:53 AM
AKRON, Ohio, June 30 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin in Ohio is beginning work on more persistent threat detection systems for the U.S. Army for use in Afghanistan.

The undefinitized contract action is for 29 of the tethered, lighter-than-air systems and is worth $184.3 million.

Lockheed delivered 28 PTDS in 2010 for use in theater, bringing the total number of systems provided to the U.S. Army to date to 37.

The PTDS is a highly effective, combat-proven, aerostat-based intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications system in support of force-protection and counter-IED missions. Used by the Army since 2004, the systems provide around-the-clock coverage of broad geographic areas for weeks at a time with multi-mission sensors.

"Over the past several years, the Department of Defense has placed an increased emphasis on delivering affordable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to the warfighter," said Colleen Arthur, director of Lockheed Martin's Integrated Defense Technologies business. "PTDS has been doing just that in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"By providing timely and actionable intelligence, PTDS helps protect our troops from IEDs and other types of threats."

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