LONDON, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The U.K. Ministry of Defense has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to support its Desert Hawk 3 unmanned aerial system and establish it as a Core Defense Capability.
The Desert Hawk is designed for surveillance and intelligence gathering operations in harsh weather conditions. The Desert Hawk 3 has clocked over 30,000 flight hours, and is one of the latest developments in unmanned aerial surveillance systems.
The value and terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"Desert Hawk has proved its worth on operations in Afghanistan, providing our Armed Forces with vital intelligence and our commanders to stay one step ahead of the enemy," U.K. Defense Minister Philip Dune said in a statement. "We recognize that unmanned and remotely-piloted air systems are increasingly important in today's operational environment."
The Desert Hawk 3 is extremely mobile, weighing only eight pounds. Users hand-launch the system in the air, where it can be flown for up to 90 minutes at a time. An additional upgrade makes launching easier. The U.K is the primary operator of the Desert Hawk, which has also been used by the United States.
Military and security officials from around the world are currently gathered in London shopping for the latest equipment at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition. The event is held in London every two years, and is the largest international defense equipment exhibition in the world.