Aerospace & Defense

Information Technology


Emerging Capabilities

Unmanned Systems

A Passion for Unmanned Innovation

Since ancient times, the potential of unmanned systems has fired the imagination—from mechanical servants who waited on Hephaestus, the Greek god of technology, to human-like robots sketched by Leonardo Da Vinci.  Later, although never used in World War I, Orville Wright helped develop the unmanned Kettering Aerial Torpedo.

Now, those dreams of yesterday have turned into reality. Unmanned systems are changing modern warfare and making jobs in the commercial and civil sectors easier and safer.

With more than five decades experience in unmanned and robotic systems, Lockheed Martin offers multiple solutions for air, land and sea. From the depths of the ocean to the rarified air of the stratosphere, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems are engineered to help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges today and in the future.

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems deliver.

In the Air: For nearly three years, the K-MAX unmanned cargo helicopter kept forward operating bases supplied, and reduced the number of truck convoys and troops on the dangerous roads of Afghanistan. Now, K-MAX has demonstrated it can help protect another set of heroes – firefighters – with its ability to autonomously lift and release water to extinguish fires.  Unmanned aerial systems like the Indago provide valuable data on crop health to farmers, while the Desert Hawk III enables soldiers to see what’s over the next hill. Persistent surveillance platforms like PTDS, High Altitude Airship, Hybrid Air Vehicle and Integrated Sensor Is Structure can keep eyes in the sky over vast areas for weeks, months and even years at a time. For unmanned aircraft systems, managing airspace remains a challenge. We are actively addressing that: Through our Flight Services System, which Lockheed Martin operates on behalf of the FAA, Lockheed Martin has incorporated the capability for UAS operators to file flight plans electronically and communicate with the general aviation community to ensure safety remains paramount and to aid in the deconfliction of flight paths.

On Land: Lockheed Martin’s unmanned Squad Mission Support System vehicle tags along with soldiers in the field, lessening their load and supplying an additional source for much needed power. Working with DARPA, our Transformer TX literally takes “off-roading” to new heights by combining a ground vehicle with Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) technology to make an entirely different kind of hybrid.

At Sea: Our Remote Minehunting System’s reconnaissance capability keeps ships and their sailors out of minefields and danger. The autonomous Marlin underwater vehicle offers the offshore oil and gas industry a quicker and safer way to conduct undersea surveys and inspections by eliminating the need for divers.

Over the past 50 years, Lockheed Martin’s innovative spirit helped create this current era of unmanned systems. Our passion for invention will drive their evolution long into the future.