Lockheed-Martin Selected for Aerial Common Sensor Program

Released on Tuesday, August 3, 2004
United States of America
E-8C Joint STARS
RQ-4A Global Hawk
U-2S Dragon Lady
ACS - Aerial Common Sensor
BAe - British Aerospace
DCGS - Distributed Common Ground Sensor
FCS - Future Combat Systems
ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
SDD - System Development and Demonstration
The US Army has awarded a Lockheed-Martin-led team an $879 million contract to develop the Aerial Common Sensor (ACS), a next generation airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) and target identification system.

ACS is intended to replace current ISR aircraft operated by US Forces including the US Army's Guardrail common sensor, the airborne reconnaissance low aircraft and the US Navy's fleet of EP-3 Aries II.

Lockheed-Martin under the contract disclosed here will be responsible for the development and demonstration of single ISR mission package that will combine and enhance the capabilities of current legacy systems. The ISR mission package will be integrated on the Embraer ERJ-145 platform.

The ACS program will run over a 20-year period with an estimated value of $7 billion. The ACS aircraft will help enable net-centric operations for the future force.

Under the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase, the Lockheed-Martin team will deliver five certified, mission ready airborne ISR systems, with initial testing planned for 2006. The low rate production contract is anticipated in 2007 and the full rate production decision is expected in 2009.

The ACS design features an unprecedented sensor-computer integration that will pinpoint threats in real-time with instantaneous access to intelligence from manned, unmanned and space-based assets. It will provide a persistent surveillance of the battlespace.

Its software-centric, open architecture design will ensure easy technology insertion, growth and full compatibility with future systems including the US Army's FCS and the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS). It will be interoperable with ISR systems such as Global Hawk , U-2 and E-8C JSTARS.

The Lockheed Martin's team includes Embraer, Argon Engineering, BAe Systems, General Dynamics, Harris, L-3 Communications and Raytheon. The militarized ERJ-145 provided by Embraer will benefit from the low cycle costs of a commercial platform.


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