Interns Unveil AI-powered Solution for Aircraft Inspection

Lockheed Martin’s UAE Interns to Unveil AI-powered Solution

for Aircraft Engine Inspection at IDEX 2023

Abu DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 15, 2023 – Lockheed Martin has announced that UAE interns from its Center for Innovation and Security Solutions (CISS) will showcase an AI-powered robotic solution for aircraft engine bay inspections during the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), set to be held in Abu Dhabi from Feb. 20 to 24, 2023.

At the exhibition, the CISS interns will present an automated prototype, which includes a workstation to host a Foreign Object Debris (FOD) inspection system, a robotic arm with a mounted camera for inspection data acquisition, and a replica section of an engine bay as the assessment target. The interns spent more than 2,000 hours programming, building, and testing the solution.

The system, developed under the guidance and mentorship of engineers from the Quality Technologies team at Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics division in the U.S., has the potential to streamline and significantly improve safety and operational processes related to aircraft engine maintenance and FOD elimination.

“At Lockheed Martin, our commitment to building the capacity of the UAE’s next generation of leaders remains as strong as ever. As part of our human capital development initiatives, we challenge our interns to solve real-world problems,” said Gen. John ‘Mick’ Nicholson (U.S. Army, Ret.), chief executive, Lockheed Martin Middle East. “We are confident that this AI-based solution will go a long way to help address critical issues within the aerospace and defense industry once developed further, driving significant time and cost savings and improving our quality-control processes in the long run.”


“Foreign Object Debris in engines poses a serious threat, and our interns demonstrated high levels of creativity and innovative thinking to deliver a working engine inspection prototype with a robust and reliable AI algorithm at its core."

Hala Al Zargani, manager, Lockheed Martin CISS

“We are thrilled and extremely proud to be able to present this solution at IDEX. This system has great potential to improve inspection processes for aircraft engines, and also serves as an example of the great things UAE talent can achieve," said Hala Al Zargani, manager, Lockheed Martin CISS.

To date, hundreds of UAE students have received specialist training at the CISS in areas including robotics, AI, networked systems, and modeling and simulation exercises, leading to employment opportunities for top performers within Lockheed Martin and other leading UAE defense entities.

As a committed partner to the Middle East for more than five decades, Lockheed Martin has helped build sovereign capabilities through industrial partnerships and human capital development initiatives in the UAE and beyond. Today, the company’s presence has moved beyond defense systems to provide various products and services, technical support, and educational expertise to strengthen and expand in-country defense capabilities.

The company will display its world-class defense solutions during IDEX at Exhibit 01-A11.

About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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