WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office has approved continued development of a new unmanned aerial system (UAS) that can be launched from ships in anti-terror operations, defense contractor Lockheed Martin said in a press release.
"Lockheed Martin was awarded a $4.6 million contract… for the continued development of a maritime canister-launched small Unmanned Aircraft System," the press release, issued on Tuesday, stated.
Lockheed Martin explained the tiny Vector Hawk drone is especially hard to detect and inexpensive to operate because it has a gross takeoff weight of only four pounds, and a vertical profile of only four inches.
"We are extending our UAS capabilities to tactical maritime users with the Vector Hawk’s innovative canister deployment and launch ability," Lockheed Martin Director of Business Development for Unmanned Solutions Jay McConville stated in the release.
The Vector Hawk design includes: a fixed-wing aircraft for standard and long endurance missions; a collapsible fixed-wing aircraft that can be launched
Moreover, it has a tilt-rotor enabling vertical take-off and landing with transition to forward flight.
"The system also incorporates fail-safes to ensure it can safely return to the user or auto-land when situations such as loss of communications with the ground control station or low power occur [and] is built with an open architecture to enable rapid technology and payload integration," the release noted.
Lockheed Martin is a security and aerospace company that designs and manufactures advanced technology systems, the release added.