The SeaGuardian drone is equipped with network weapons

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) are collaborating to deliver a Network-Enabled Weapons (NEW) capability for GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The addition of NEW capabilities for SeaGuardian will enhance the aircraft’s intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISR&T) capabilities, enabling the platform to rapidly engage targets based on real-time intelligence gathered by its sensors. Such capabilities are already supported by the MQ-9 but have not yet been implemented by the MQ-8B SeaGuardian.

NEW technology offers expanded sensor targeting applications for precise targeting of long-range weapons. SeaGuardian's demonstrated persistence, combined with its extensive range of precision targeting sensors, enables more effective kill chains, particularly in contested environments. GA-ASI's MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAS and Raytheon's SeaVue multi-role radar, an RTX company, will effectively leverage Lockheed Martin's NEW deep expertise to further refine targeting capabilities for future in-theater deployments. The first tests were completed on June 5, 2024 with F/A-18s at the US Navy's W-289 test range in Southern California.

GA-ASI and Lockheed Martin developed Link 16 messages to communicate with weapons in flight using the SeaGuardian Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL) in preparation for the over-water test flight.

“This is a very important system attribute for SeaGuardian to enable long-range naval targeting of CONOPS against high-end threats with significantly less risk to manned platforms,” said GA President -ASI, David R. Alexander. “We appreciate Lockheed Martin's support in helping us test NEW technology, which is an important part of our ISR&T capability. »

The MQ-9B SeaGuardian is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV. Its multi-domain capabilities allow it to adapt from one mission to another. The SeaGuardian has been used by the United States in several recent demonstrations, including Northern Edge, Integrated Battle Problem, and Group Sail.

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