Contractors & Vendors, Lockheed Martin, Sensors

Lockheed Flying Intel Lab gets cleared for takeoff

Lockheed Martin's Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory

Lockheed Martin's AML

Lockheed Martin’s Airborne Intelligence Test Bed has completed its maiden flight, getting an air-worthiness certificate from the FAA.  The Airborn Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML – a name clearly sculpted to avoid the AIL label) is a reconfigured Gulfstream III business jet loaded with sensors and computing equipment.

The AML has an ample radome on the bottom of the aircraft that can be crammed with various sensors and data links. “We’ve designed the AML so that we can easily test a myriad of sensors to advance the science and art of correlating diverse types of intelligence – with the goal of rapidly providing high-quality data,” said Jim Quinn, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services-Defense’s vice president of C4ISR Systems, in a company statement.

Because of its reconfigurable, “plug and play” architecture for sensors and computing systems, the AML can be used for a variety of evaluations at the same time. The aircraft is currently slated to participate in the C4ISR On-The-Move exercise at Ft. Dix in New Jersey at the end of August.

Coalition/Allies, tech

Italians to get first Reaper installment


The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. won a contract for  $10,250,000 modified contract through the Foreign Military Sales Program  to cover the Italian purchase of MQ-9 Reaper aircraft. So far, $5,022,500 of that contract has been obligated.

The contract is in response to an Italian request last August for four Reapers, over 5 years, including ground stations, for $300 million.   The Italian Air Force currently operates  RQ-1A Predators in its 32nd Wing’s 28 Squadron at Amendola.

The Reaper is the follow-on to the Predator, a “hunter-killer” UAV that can carry over 1,000 pounds of ordnance and stay “on station”  for as long as 48 hours.  28 have been built thus far, the first deploying in 2007.