Lockheed Martin's interest in a San Diego start-up shows how big aerospace companies are pushing the drone revolution out to sea. Lockheed Martin Ventures last month invested an undisclosed amount in San Diego-based Ocean Aero -- a 25-employee start-up that is developing the Submaran, a solar- and wind-powered ocean drone capable of operating above and below the surface. "The ability to be environmentally powered allows us to maneuver at great persistence because it's renewable," said Eric Patten, chief executive of Ocean Aero and a former Navy officer. "And then to be able to transition that vehicle from the surface to a sub-surface vehicle that has significant capability under water, that is truly unique." Lockheed Martin Venture typically invests $1 million to $5 million in young companies.
Lockheed Martin is working to develop a high-power fiber laser for fighter jets. Under a $26.3 million contract from the Air Force Research Lab, the firm will design and produce a directed energy system for aircraft, with plans to test the technology by 2021. The move comes after a series of successful tests with similar systems in ground-based platforms – but, the experts say developing a laser for a smaller, airborne design will be a challenge. Lockheed Martin is working to develop a high-power fiber laser for fighter jets. Under a $26.3 million contract from the Air Force Research Lab, the firm will design and produce a directed energy system for aircraft, with plans to test it by 2021.
It could be the biggest robot craft ever made. Lockheed Martin has won a lucrative $43.2 million US Navy contract to built a radical new giant submarine - without a human on board. Called Orca, the Navy hopes to use up to nine of the giant submarines on secret mission. They will be able to stay underwater for months at a time, communicating remotely from enemy waters. Called Orca, the Navy hopes to use up to nine of the giant submarines on secret mission.
This summer, the US Air Force will begin testing a laser mounted on an F-15 warplane, an official said Monday. The Pentagon last year awarded a $26 million contract to Lockheed Martin for a laser program called SHiELD (Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator.) The idea is to put a laser system on aircraft with an output of about 50 kilowatts to test their ability to zap drones or cruise missiles. Air Force scientists hope to have a laser that can defeat drones and missiles ready to put on an F-15 by summer 2019. 'We have got tests starting this summer and the flight tests next summer,' Jeff Stanley, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering, told reporters.
The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have demonstrated the ability of fully autonomous convoys to operate in urban environments with multiple vehicles of different models. The demonstration earlier this month at Fort Hood, Texas, was part of the Army and Marine Corps' Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) program, and marked the completion of the program's Capabilities Advancement Demonstration (CAD). The test involved driverless tactical vehicles navigating hazards and obstacles such as road intersections, oncoming traffic, stalled and passing vehicles, pedestrians and traffic circles in both urban and rural test areas. "The AMAS CAD hardware and software performed exactly as designed, and dealt successfully with all of the real-world obstacles that a real-world convoy would encounter," said David Simon, AMAS program manager for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The AMAS hardware and software are designed to automate the driving task on current tactical vehicles.