Leveraging the JSF Investment:

Lockheed Martin is finding ways to leverage the considerable investment the company made into the Joint Strike Fighter program by spinning off capabilities that can be embedded in other platforms, Don Bolling, manager of advanced targeting systems business development in Lockheed’s missiles and fire control outfit, said Monday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. The result is the Advanced Low observable Embedded Reconnaissance and Targeting system (ALERT), a flexible sensor package that is based on JSF’s elector optical targeting system and is being shopped around for test bed applications. Weighing in at just less than 200 pounds and modular in composition, the sensor package can be fitted into tight spaces rather than the traditional tube-like package familiar with most targeting pods. ALERT effectively combines air-to-air targeting FLIR technology with long range air surveillance and synthetic aperture infrared radar that allows the sensor to be tailored to the mission at hand and multitasked effectively with other capabilities. Bolling says the package is ideally suited for large UAV platforms, such as the Global Hawk, the newly named Reaper hunter-killer, and the to-be-developed unmanned combat aerial system. He added that Lockheed expects to demonstrate the technology within the next 18 months on a “capital asset” that he would not name.