The Capability that Enabled the British Army to LEAPP Ahead

The Capability that Enabled the British Army to LEAPP Ahead
January 25, 2022

The success of any mission relies heavily on integration, intelligence, surveillance and data. Data, as we know has become more and more critical within the battlespace. It drives decision making. Real time data is indispensable in today’s complex and congested environment – the right level and timely situational awareness is key to precise and efficient decision making. Lockheed Martin’s Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) capability does exactly that. By streaming real time, filtered data direct to the user, LEAPP provides operators at all levels with the ability to efficiently and effectively coordinate, plan, decision make and strike.

The UK sovereign capability, designed by Lockheed Martin UK for the British Army has brought fundamental change to land environment operations since it came into service in 2015, and remains successfully operational today. The capability provides a Recognised Air Picture (RAP) into the land domain.

Based on Lockheed Martin’s decades of Battle Management Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (BMC4i) expertise and the interoperable nature of the product, today’s LEAPP capability is an advanced and far more sophisticated version of its former self. It can effectively communicate via Link 16 (the military’s tactical data link network used by NATO) and seamlessly plug into the wider UK defence digital backbone. The upgraded system [link to news release] brings operational advantage, enabling military platforms across multiple domains to exchange a tactical picture in real-time, creating a true multi-domain integration environment.  

LEAPP has a place in today’s battlespace and fits perfectly into the tomorrow’s multi-domain integration environment as SkyKeeper continues to develop solutions. LEAPP  continues to be deployed in theatre fully supporting the British Army and more recently was utilised as a surveillance capability at two high-profile global events hosted by the UK: the G7 2021 Summit in Cornwall and the COP 26 Summit in Glasgow.

PHOTO CREDIT: @Comd7ADGp - LEAPP at the G7 World Summit 2021, Cornwall United Kingdom

Lee Fellows, Vice President and Managing Director at Lockheed Martin UK, Ampthill: “This is a strategic capability for the UK and the international market. Extending the Out of Service Date for LEAPP clearly demonstrates its importance to the British Army, and we’re proud to support the UK with ongoing LEAPP deployment. Today’s multi-domain integration environment requires digital ready systems that deliver advanced capabilities and the ability to share real-time battlespace management data between platforms and users. The upgraded LEAPP capability has been advanced with exactly this in mind.”

The matured system continues to impress troops with its outstanding performance and operational reliability. It provides the air picture to Divisional and Brigade Headquarters, as well as being deployable with 16 Air Assault Brigade in a modified form factor. The software incorporates elements from the highly successful Automated Sense and Warn (AS&W) system which was deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Herrick.

Col Graham Taylor CBE, Commander 7 Air Defence Group, said: “The British Army is committed to modernisation across a spectrum of capabilities including Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD). 7 Air Defence Group, the Army’s Counter-Air Warfare experts, will continue to employ LEAPP alongside other world leading GBAD capabilities that allow the British Army to participate with Joint and Multinational partners in integrated air and missile defence.”

With Lockheed Martin UK having secured the LEAPP C2 Upgrade contract, there is now a real opportunity to ensure this vital British Army capability evolves into the BMC4i spine for Land Commander and beyond, to facilitate true Multi Domain Integration and Operations. With an extended Out of Service Date, and with its upgraded Digital Data Link capability, improved sensor integration, and a system design that allows for future ‘plug and play’ opportunities, SkyKeeper enabled LEAPP can facilitate seamless interoperability and evolution with both legacy and future sensors, communications and weapons systems for many years to come. Added to this, SkyKeeper’s flexible Form Factor will ensure that the capability remains relevant and unconstrained by future doctrinal changes. And having said all that, even the Sky is not the limit for SkyKeeper; true Multi Domain Integration must include all domains: Air, Land, Sea, Space and Cyber. SkyKeeper’s inherent Modular Publish and Subscribe design secures its position at the centre of the future digital battlespace, connecting the disparate dots and ensuring the right information, is in the right place, at the right time, to guarantee the right decision.