Lockheed Martin has successfully demonstrated the integrated command and control (C2) system ability to monitor and control multiple types of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) during recent trials conducted at the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) base.
During testing, performed in support of the US Navy’s upcoming unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike system (UCLASS) and common control system programmes, the C2 system has controlled both the UAV and their onboard mission system sensors.
A single operator simultaneously managed multiple UAS platforms using an open architecture framework, fitted with DreamHammer’s Ballista drone control software and navy compliant software protocols.
In order to validate ISR sensors control and fully integrate the data into one mission picture, the team used the new US Navy Cloud capability to rapidly re-task and re-route the UAS assets, as part of the testing.
The C2 system provided one comprehensive mission picture for operators by integrating with other navy C2 and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) planning and execution systems.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Advanced strike and intelligence and reconnaissance systems executive vice-president Rob Weiss said the testing marked a step closer to the US Navy’s requirement for a common control system, capable of leveraging multiple architectures from varied operational systems.
"A combined C2 and ISR capability will be essential as the navy integrates UAS, beginning with UCLASS, into its ISR enterprise," Weiss said.
The C2 and ISR systems have also been integrated by the Lockheed team during the trials to provide mission planning, sensor and common operational control for multiple UAS platforms such as UCLASS concept.
Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions C4ISR Systems vice-president Jim Quinn said: "This demonstration underscores the critical role that common command and control systems can play in actual operations by highlighting the ability to enrich the overall ISR picture and increase the speed of decision-making."
The US Navy is seeking C2 and ISR capabilities to enhance tactical combat capabilities with a reduced footprint, as well as to provide affordable capability in an agile delivery framework.