Advertisement

Unmanned air and sea vehicles coordinate together

Lockheed Martin has used a combination of sea and air unmanned vehicles to demonstrate cross-domain command and control.

By Richard Tomkins
Unmanned air and sea vehicles coordinate together
Vector Hawk and Marlin unmanned vehicles used by Lockheed Martin in a cross-domain command-and-control demonstration. Image courtesy Lockheed Martin

NEWPORT, R.I., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has successfully launched a small unmanned aerial vehicle on command from its MK2 Marlin autonomous underwater vehicle.

The launch was part of a cross-domain command-and-control event hosted by the U.S. Navy last month and also involved a Submaran, an unmanned surface vehicle developed by Ocean Aero, which provided surface reconnaissance and surveillance.

Advertisement

"This effort marks a milestone in showing that an unmanned aircraft, surface vessel and undersea vehicle can communicate and complete a mission cooperatively and completely autonomously," said Kevin Schlosser, chief architect, unmanned systems technology, Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed said that in the demonstration the Submaran relayed instructions to Marlin from a ground control station via underwater acoustic communications. The Marlin then launched the Vector Hawk UAV using a specially-designed canister from the surface.

RELATED Mexico receives upgraded Panther helo from Airbus

All three autonomous vehicles -- the Marlin, Submaran and Vector Hawk -- communicated operational status to the ground control station to maintain situational awareness and provide a means to command and control all assets.

"Lockheed Martin has heard loud and clear the U.S. Navy's call to get faster, be more agile, and to be continually creative," said Frank Drennan, director, mission and unmanned systems business development. "We have clearly illustrated that we have the necessary agility and quickness combined with innovative technology to increase the range, reach, and effectiveness of undersea forces."

Advertisement

Lockheed Martin's Vector Hawk is designed for canister or hand launch in all-weather, maritime environments to provide a tailored intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability. It is capable of fully autonomous flight and landing. It weighs just four pounds, has a flight endurance of more than 70 minutes and has a line-of-sight range of as much as 9.3 miles.

RELATED TeleCommunications Systems continues USMC satellite services

The Marlin MK2 is a battery-powered, 2,000-pound autonomous underwater vehicle that is 10 feet long and has a 250-pound payload capacity. Its endurance is 18 to 24 hours.

RELATED Rheinmetall modernizing German army training center

RELATED Boeing rolls out first P-8A Poseidon for Australia

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement