Home Americas BAE, Lockheed trial UAS integration on amphibious combat vehicles

BAE, Lockheed trial UAS integration on amphibious combat vehicles

ACV UAS variant trials
Photo: BAE Systems

BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works have completed a successful test of the Stalker and Indago small uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) on an amphibious combat vehicle.

The companies said the UAS would provide long-endurance reconnaissance capabilities to support the US Marine Corps’ expeditionary warfare and battle management capabilities aboard the Command, Control, Communication and Computers/Uncrewed Aerial Systems (C4/UAS) variant of the ACV.

Now that contractor verification testing is complete, the Marine Corps will conduct its own series of tests to evaluate if the ACV C4/UAS is a capable and cost-effective government off the shelf solution for the Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) program. The ARV is envisioned as a new armored vehicle family that would replace the Light Armored Vehicle, which has supported Marine Air-Ground Task Force missions on the battlefield since the 1980s.

“We’re focused on giving Marines an advanced technology solution to meet their reconnaissance requirements,” said Mark Brinkman, program manager for ACV design and development. “That’s why we’re teamed with companies like Lockheed Martin—to provide Marines with the best possible capabilities for their expeditionary needs.”

BAE Systems tested Skunk Works’ Stalker and Indago UAS along with a number of other technology suppliers as part of contractor verification testing.

“Collaboration with our SOCOM and Marine Corps customers and industry partners has enabled the rapid development of needed capabilities for the warfighter – as exemplified through this partnership with BAE Systems,” said Jacob Johnson, Skunk Works UAS and Attritable Systems director. “By integrating Stalker and Indago on BAE Systems’ ACV platform, we are delivering greater mission flexibility in a small form factor that supports Marine Corps operations.”

BAE Systems says its ACV C4/UAS vehicle is a “mobile systems integration lab” built to demonstrate the technology Marines need to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, and acquisition capabilities, including the ability to sense and communicate targets over the horizon using C4 systems. Skunk Works’ Stalker and Indago UAS are some of the technology components that the ACV C4/UAS employs to achieve this goal.