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Lockheed Martin Tests LOCAAS

Lockheed Martin LOCAASLockheed Martin claims to have
conducted a successful
operator-in-the-loop flight test of their LOCAAS™ (Low-Cost Autonomous
Attack System) munition at Eglin AFB, FL on October 21, 2005.  LOCAAS is an
autonomous,
wide-area search miniature weapon that is equipped with a LADAR
seeker.

“This test demonstrated the capability of LOCAAS to integrate
automatic combat identification, global data links,
operator-in-the-loop involvement, and successful redirect of the
weapon,” said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed
Martin. 

According to Lockheed Martin, the LOCAAS test vehicle was launched from a King Air 200 and
flew more than 40 nautical miles in approximately 15 minutes.  During
the flight, LOCAAS was powered by a Technical Directions Incorporated
J45G turbojet engine and used its laser radar (LADAR) seeker to
search, identify and report on targets in its mission search
area.

There was an operator-in-the-loop
who redirected the test vehicle to the location of a moving target causing LOCAAS to alter its
predefined flight path toward the moving target as
the new primary target of interest.

Globalstar SATCOM system was used to link the LOCAAS test
vehicle and the operator-in-the-loop with a detailed simulation of the
Network Centric Collaborative Targeting (NCCT) system. Lockheed Martin
claims NCCT fused track and identification information from
simulated Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) platform
sensors to provide the approximate location of the moving,
time-sensitive target.  The test vehicle was also linked via data
link
to the Cooperative Attack Munitions Real-time Assessment (CAMRA)
testbed, which simulated three “virtual” munitions cooperatively
searching in flight paths adjacent to the test vehicle.  Once cued
by
the operator-in-the-loop, the virtual munitions performed coordinated
attack operations in concert with the flight test vehicle using
real-time information received across the data link.  The link to
NCCT
allowed the flight test vehicle to act as a non-traditional ISR sensor
transmitting detected target vehicle identification, location, time,
and weapon status information for use by other systems and operators.

An Air Force flight-rated operator, serving as the
operator-in-the-loop, retargeted the LOCAAS flight test vehicle to
“attack” the NCCT-tracked moving vehicle.  During the test vehicle’s
flight, the operator monitored real-time weapon state information, as
well as, the near-real time location updates of detected targets
provided by NCCT.  The operator interface utilized a modified version
of the Air Force’s Portable Flight Planning System (PFPS) FalconView
map overlay application.  The FalconView application was executed on a
ruggedized laptop computer and enabled the operator to relay the
relevant target track information, as well as break-off and/or abort
commands to the LOCAAS flight test vehicle.

The Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate sponsored
the flight test which was the culmination of five successful flights
including one with a live warhead.


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