Lockheed Martin Sets Sights on Next Phase of Missile Defense Agency's High Altitude Airship Program
AKRON, OH, 08-APR-03 -- The Missile Defense Agency has awarded Lockheed Martin a $2 million concept definition contract to advance the company's already well-defined High Altitude Airship (HAA) configuration. This is the initial phase of MDA's Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program that will lead to production of a prototype airship for demonstration flights in 2006. We're in step with the Missile Defense Agency's goal of providing the nation a low-cost, multi-mission platform to complement existing warfighter assets, said Ron Browning, surveillance systems business development director at Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems in Akron, Ohio. MDA's projected missile defense system architecture incorporates high-altitude airships because of their large payload and long-endurance capabilities.
The four-month concept definition contract culminates with a preliminary design review that will substantiate the HAA's capabilities. MDA has identified performance goals calling for the prototype HAA to sustain operations for one month at 65,000 feet while providing 10 kW of power to a 4,000-pound payload. Additionally, the HAA prototype will demonstrate station-keeping and autonomous flight control capabilities.
Our 80 continuous years of lighter-than-air technology advancement and application provides the customer access to a very unique knowledge base that is further enhanced by our HAA team members and their respective technology niches, Browning said. We're also ready for the construction phase of the program with a facility in place to build a full-scale airship. Lockheed Martin's airship factory, called the Airdock, is 1,175 feet long, 320 feet wide and 220 feet high. Lockheed Martin's team includes StratCom, Keedysville, Md., Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colo., and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Palmdale, Calif.
As the leading technology solutions provider and integrator to the U.S. government, Lockheed Martin focuses on the defense, information technology and homeland security requirements of the military services and civil agencies. The corporation's advanced technology solutions draw on world-class capabilities in systems engineering and integration, complex project management, software development and information technology. These align with emerging homeland security requirements for enhanced command and control, threat information alert and exchange, border control, critical infrastructure protection and emergency management and incident response.