Lockheed and General Aueronautical test UAV system

Lockheed Martin Corp. and General Aeronautical Systems Inc. tested part of their network-centric solution for the U.S. Navy's maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle program, the companies said yesterday.

The test used the Mariner, a low-cost UAV, established sensors and network communications capabilities. The solution is designed to expand the Navy's ability to conduct surveillance over a broad area and provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The demonstration took place at a recent exercise in San Diego.

The system is designed for a ground operator to control the aircraft using point-and-click commands while simultaneously controlling its radar and video cameras. The flight marked the first time that 360-degree maritime surface search radar was demonstrated on an American remotely piloted aircraft, the companies said.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin, the project's prime contractor, joined with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in August 2003 to pursue the program.

Lockheed Martin, a Bethesda, Md.-based producer of advanced technology systems, employs 130,000 workers. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of San Diego employs more than 1,000 people and focuses exclusively on designing and developing unmanned aircraft systems.

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