Lockheed to create software for aircraft survival

Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $7.8 million research and development contract from the Army to develop software for manned and unmanned aircraft, specifically helicopters and other rotorcraft. The software will be designed to improve the survivability of aircraft in combat situations, the company said.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin will support the Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate in developing the Survivability Planner Associate Rerouter (SPAR) system. The system will be designed to predict battlefield threats and provide aircraft with real-time response plans that take into account terrain, aircraft signatures and countermeasures in order to avoid danger.

Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, N.Y., will lead a 42-month development effort. The group will then test the systems in helicopter simulators.

The SPAR technologies are planned for deployment by 2007 in the Unmanned Combat Armed Rotorcraft (UCAR) and in existing Army attack helicopters.

The new software will be designed to receive data from aircraft sensors and from off-board communication systems. It will then evaluate the information in relation to battlefield terrain and aircraft signatures, and recommend the most appropriate action to improve survivability.

Scott Greene, acting vice president of Aerospace Solutions at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, said the R&D contract will help the company improve its decision assistance and situational awareness technologies, "allowing us to improve the survivability of our customer's aircraft."

Lockheed Martin said it intends to award subcontracts to Huntsville, Ala.-based Dynetics Inc., Cambridge, Mass.-based Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, and Camarillo, Calif.-based ISX Corp.

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