Army orders more surveillance airships

Lockheed Martin's Persistent Threat Detection System has multi-mission sensors

Lockheed Martin Corp. will furnish additional surveillance systems to the Army for use in detecting threats to ground forces from roadside bombs and other means under a $142 million contract, the company announced today.

Lockheed Martin’s Persistent Threat Detection System is a tethered aerostat filled with helium designed to stay aloft for long periods of time to provide surveillance of broad areas. Attached by a high-strength tether to a mobile mooring system, PTDS is equipped with multi-mission sensors that can address a variety of surveillance needs.

Company officials said that final terms are being negotiated, and therefore did not specify the number of systems that will be provided. The company received a contract of similar value in October 2009 to provide eight systems.

The Army has used PTDS to support U.S. and coalition forces in southwestern Asia since 2004.

The company will perform most of the work in Akron, Ohio. Additional work will be done in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moorestown, N.J., and Oswego, N.Y.

Lockheed Martin is based in Bethesda, Md.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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