General Atomics said Monday it deployed two Avenger UAS that used Lockheed’s Legion Pod to passively gather data on long-range air threats then transmitted the input to a ground-based command center.
The Legion Pod is designed to support collaborative targeting in scenarios denied of radar support.
The Avenger units flew over southern California’s high desert and used the pod’s IRST21 infrared system to detect and track fast aircraft in the area. Lockheed’s fusion software combined the data gathered by both pods before transmission to the command station.
“This is the first time IRST systems on multiple autonomous aircraft have delivered merged air threat data to users on the ground,” said Scott Roberson, director of sensors and global sustainment advanced programs at Lockheed.
He added the test represents large progress in building a common operating picture for joint, multiple-domain situational awareness.
The same fusion technology underwent testing with F-15 aircraft during the recent Northern Edge exercise in Alaska.
Lockheed now plans to demonstrate the Legion Pod’s fusion capability with F-16 jets.