Two Million Flight Hours and Beyond: Lockheed Martin Supports Army UAS Technology


The U.S. Army surpassed the two million flight hour milestone of all its unmanned systems this past year, as the need for unmanned technology has grown exponentially since the service began its efforts. Within those two million hours, 90 percent of them were flown in direct support of combat operations.

As soldiers continue to work on a fast-paced, evolving battlefield, the Army has trusted its UAS technology to protect the warfighter by augmenting and potentially replacing manned systems, providing enhanced situational awareness and revolutionizing how the Army operates.

Lockheed Martin VCS and VCS-4586 software has served as the common control solution for more than 1.1 million of the Army Project Office UAS’s  two million flight hour milestone by providing integral capabilities for the Army’s one system ground control station, universal ground control station and universal mission simulator. VCS-4586 is an integrated command, control and information ground control software application designed for controlling and monitoring unmanned vehicles. It is the world’s first commercial off-the-shelf control station software developed to the open standard - NATO Standardization Agreement 4586 (STANAG 4586).


Lockheed Martin’s VCS software has been used since 1994 in Army ground control stations to operate UAS, and it can be applied to all unmanned vehicles, from civil to military, mini to large. As the software has been integrated with unmanned systems such as the AAI RQ-7B Shadow, General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle, Northrop Grumman MQ-5B, it supports the U.S. Army’s vision for a universal operator.

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 help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges.