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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

U.S. Army to Deploy Lockheed Martin Persistent Threat Detection Systems

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via PRNewswire

AKRON , Ohio, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a $77.5 million contract to provide additional tethered aerostat surveillance systems for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Persistent Threat Detection Systems (PTDS) are equipped with multi-mission sensors to provide continuous surveillance, detection and communications in support of coalition forces.

Lockheed Martin will assemble and test the integrated aerostats, sensors, ground stations and mooring systems at its Defense and Surveillance Systems facility in Akron . When deployed, the PTDS will be operated and maintained by Lockheed Martin Technical Operations headquartered in Colorado Springs , CO. The Army's Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, Project Manager for Night Vision, Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition, and Product Manager for Robotic & Unmanned Sensors will provide program and acquisition management.

Lockheed Martin delivered its first PTDS unit to the Army in 2004. Delivery of the new systems will commence within the next several months.

"Aerostat surveillance systems give the Army the reliable and constant information and intelligence collection capability vital to protecting deployed personnel and high-value assets," said Ron Browning , Lockheed Martin airship business development director. "Our team is committed to completing the PTDS production and integration to field the systems as quickly as possible."

Aerostats and other lighter-than-air systems provide low-cost, long-endurance communications and surveillance capabilities not possible with other types of air vehicles. Attached by a high-strength tether to a re-locatable mooring system, aerostats may carry different types of surveillance equipment to conduct multiple missions. They are filled with helium and stay airborne around-the-clock. Lockheed Martin has delivered 8,000 aerostats for military and commercial uses.

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