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US Army To Deploy Lockheed Martin Aerostat Surveillance Systems In Iraq

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Akron - Feb 16, 2004
The US Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.6 million contract to provide the first of two 56,000-cubic-foot tethered aerostat surveillance systems for deployment in Iraq. The aerostats, equipped with various sensors, will provide a persistent surveillance capability in the defense of ground forces and high-value assets in Baghdad.

Lockheed Martin will integrate existing aerostats with their sensors, ground stations and mooring systems at its facility in Akron. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, will evaluate the equipment during integration.

The Army's Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors and PM RUS at Fort Monmouth, NJ will provide program and acquisition management. The Army will receive the first system in June 2004 and the second system within two months of the first system.

"This integrated capability evidences our aggressive responsiveness to a time-critical need for persistent surveillance to support and enable our Army's mission and task at war," said Edward Bair, the Army's program executive officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors. "Only through the combined efforts of a focused Army-Lockheed Martin-PM RUS team will we achieve that goal."

"Aerostat surveillance systems give the Army the additional intelligence collection capability vital to protecting ground forces and high-value assets," said Ron Browning, business development director at Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors. "Our team is committed to completing the assembly and integration of the equipment to deploy the two systems as quickly as possible."

Aerostats and other lighter-than-air systems provide low-cost, long- endurance surveillance capabilities not possible with other types of aircraft. Attached by a high-strength cable to a mooring system, aerostats may carry different types of surveillance equipment to conduct multiple missions. They are filled with helium and stay airborne around-the-clock. Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors has delivered more than 8,000 aerostats for military and commercial uses.

Lockheed Martin is the systems integrator, and operations and maintenance provider for the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) operated by the U.S. Air Force along the southern U.S. border.

TARS uses Lockheed Martin's larger 420K (420,000 cubic feet) tethered aerostats and L-88 radar in support of air sovereignty and counter-drug operations conducted by North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs Air and Marine Interdiction Coordination Center.

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