Eye of the Dragon
Lockheed Martin Dragon ISR Capabilities Expand with Introduction of Persistent Surveillance Configuration
Lockheed Martin’s Dragon family of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance configurations keeps growing, and AUSA visitors are learning about the newest addition to the brood. The latest member of the family is Dragon Sentinel, an ISR configuration developed specifically for aerostats, which provide low-cost, continuous communications and persistent surveillance capabilities not possible with other types of manned and unmanned aircraft.
“Dragon Sentinel leverages Lockheed Martin’s extensive experience with persistent surveillance systems to offer a multi-mission ISR configuration tailored to this type of platform,” says Charles Gulledge, director of airborne reconnaissance business development with Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions-Defense. “This new configuration adds to the Dragon family’s comprehensive capabilities and demonstrates our commitment to making this product family the most integrated, flexible, and cost-effective ISR solution set available.”
Other Dragon configurations in the Lockheed Martin Dragon Family of ISR include:
- Dragon Scout™ — Configurations based on large business jet type platforms equipped with an extensive suite of ISR systems. Dragon Scout is ideal for customers with enduring requirements and large geographic areas of interest.
- Dragon Shield™ — Ideal for customers who need an aircraft that can perform multiple missions, such as airlift and reconnaissance. Dragon Shield offers a flexible ISR mission system that can be either encased into trailer-like containers or configured onto roll-on, roll-off airlift pallets.
- Net Dragon — Packages any Dragon ISR option or combination as a contracted service. Customers select a configuration, which Lockheed Martin then tailors to the customer’s mission requirements. Lockheed Martin maintains and operates the needed ISR equipment, while providing the ISR capability to the customer. Net Dragon allows customers to bring ISR capabilities to a region quickly and at an affordable cost.
- Dragon Star™ — Based on Lockheed Martin’s Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML). Dragon Star addresses requirements for mid range, multi-intelligence platforms such as the Gulfstream III, Havilland D-8 or Beechcraft 350. These types of aircraft can be equipped with a variety of sensor combinations and multiple communications systems configured for a particular mission.
- Dragon Stare™ — Integrates sensor systems into aircraft or pods attached to the exterior aircraft structure. Dragon Stare is available for manned and unmanned platforms.
- Dragon Den™ -- ISR ground processing stations that offer for processing and distributing sensor information. Highly flexible Dragon Den configurations can be as small as a computer workstation or as large as a ground system in a trailer-like shelter.
In addition to the introduction of Dragon Sentinel, Lockheed Martin has been enhancing other configurations. Recently, for example, we have added ELINT and COMMINT analysis tools to the Dragon Stare configuration.
“Another rapidly growing Dragon component has been Net Dragon,” Gulledge notes. “We’re seeing increased customer interest in the concept of purchasing capability rather than the systems themselves. The contract-services approach can help them hold down costs while allowing them to contract only for the capabilities they need, when they need them.”
Whether customers are interested in owning ISR systems themselves or contracting for ISR as a service, the Dragon family offers an enterprise approach that stand-alone platforms do not, Gulledge says.
“A major part of the appeal of our Dragon configurations is that they’re not stove-piped systems,” he says. “Dragon ISR data feeds directly into our customers’ networks. Plus, as our customers’ needs grow and change, we’re there to grow and change with them.”