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Lockheed Martin Completes Delivery of Latest Order of Aerostat Detection Systems to US Army
by Staff Writers
Akron OH (SPX) Jun 04, 2012

Since Lockheed Martin delivered the first PTDS in 2004, the Army has ordered 66 of the persistent surveillance systems as commanders quickly saw the benefits of having a cost-effective eye in the sky hovering over Iraq and Afghanistan providing around-the-clock surveillance. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Lockheed Martin has completed its most recent Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) order by delivering the 29th unit to the U.S. Army May 29. Since the program's inception in 2004, the company has delivered 66 systems to the Army to help provide warfighters with around the clock surveillance in Afghanistan and Iraq.

PTDS is a tethered aerostat equipped with multiple sensors that can stay aloft for weeks to months and provide warfighters with a cost-effective intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

The aerostat is attached by a high-strength tether to a re-locatable mooring system and can carry various payloads to conduct multiple simultaneous missions.

"The U.S. Army has told us PTDS continues to help keep warfighters safer," said Colleen Arthur, director of Integrated Defense Systems for Lockheed Martin's Mission System and Sensors business.

"The real-time situational awareness it provides helps troops identify improvised explosive devices and other threats, track insurgents, and enhance overall readiness for our men and women in theater."

Within months of concept development in 2003, Lockheed Martin delivered the first PTDS to the Army for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). PTDS quickly became a critical factor in securing bases and the Army ordered additional units in 2006.

The system has since proven its capabilities in a range of operating environments during OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. As demand for PTDS has multiplied, Lockheed Martin and its suppliers increased production capacity to ensure on-time deliveries to meet customers' needs.

The systems are produced at Lockheed Martin's Akron, Ohio facility. Lockheed Martin will continue supporting the program by providing equipment such as cameras, sensors and other hardware, as well as around-the-clock customer service from Akron and Melbourne, Fla.


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