An Avenger Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) equipped with a new legion pod has successfully and autonomously followed a target aircraft, General Atomics announced on Wednesday.
“For the first time ever, over the high desert of southern California on July 2, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) used an Avenger Unmanned Aircraft System equipped with a Lockheed Martin Legion Pod to autonomously track and follow targets of interest,” the company said in a press release.
The industry-funded demonstration brought US military aviators one step closer to gaining autonomous systems that support manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) in joint all-domain operations, GA-ASI explained.
“The success of this Avenger/Legion Pod demonstration represents an important step toward more sophisticated autonomous missions for unmanned aircraft and MUM-T in a complex battlespace,” GA-ASI Vice President of Special Programs Chris Pehrson said in the release.
During the flight, Legion Pod’s infrared search-and-track system, IRST21, detected multiple fast-moving aircraft operating in the area and fed target tracking information to the Avenger’s autonomy engine. The autonomy engine prioritized the targets informing Avenger maneuvers for target engagement, the release said.
General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator RPA series and the Lynx Multi-mode Radar.
Avenger, Lynx, Predator, SeaGuardian and SkyGuardian are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. Legion Pod is a registered trademark of Lockheed Martin.