Lockheed lands huge airborne intelligence contract

Defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $879 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop a next-generation airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target identification system, the company said today.

The contract has a potential value of more than $7 billion during its expected 20-year life.

Called the Aerial Common Sensor, the system will replace current aircraft technology, including the Army's Guardrail Common Sensor, the Airborne Reconnaissance Low aircraft and the Navy's fleet of EP-3 aircraft.

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will combine and enhance the capabilities of the current systems on these platforms into a single intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance package on the Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft platform, the company said.

Lockheed Martin's Aerial Common Sensor system identifies threats in real-time. It also provides instant access to intelligence from manned, unmanned and space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, as well as persistent surveillance capabilities.

"With Aerial Common Sensor, warfighters can see and act first with greater speed and accuracy," said Stan Sloane, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin's Integrated Systems & Solutions business unit. "Our team will deliver a highly sophisticated system that will help enable net-centric operations and provide a tactical overwatch for the future force."

Lockheed Martin's team members on the project include Argon Engineering Associates Inc., BAE Systems Inc., General Dynamics Corp., Harris Corp., L-3 Communications Corp. and Raytheon Co.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin's employs 130,000 workers worldwide and had 2003 revenue of $31.8 billion. It has held the No. 1 position on Washington Technology's Top 100 list of federal prime contractors for the past 10 years.

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