Lockheed Martin has taken the wraps off its vision for a future manned lunar lander at International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, Germany. The concept spacecraft is designed to show how a reusable lander, in conjunction with NASA’s planned lunar Gateway deep-space orbital outpost, can support an indefinite human presence on the Moon as well as providing valuable experience for the first manned missions to Mars.
It’s been almost half a century since the last astronauts set foot on the Moon and with new US plans committing NASA to a program of sustained human exploration and exploitation of deep space, returning to the lunar surface will involve much more than simply taking up where Apollo left off. Not only has technology advanced considerably since the 1960s, but making more than temporary and sporadic visits to the Moon and beyond requires a whole new approach to space exploration.
The US Army is moving forward with a new 100-kW laser weapon, awarding US$10 million to Lockheed Martin and Dynetics to continue development of the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL TVD).
Lockheed Martin may have lost out on designing America’s next-generation ICBM, but the company has been selected to help replace the vintage AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile. The US$900 million US Air Force Technical Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) contract tasks the company with developing the technology needed to build the nuclear-capable Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile.
In a move that could revolutionize aerial combat, the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) has awarded Lockheed Martin a US$26.3 million contract to design, develop, and produce a high-power laser weapon that the AFRL wants to install and test on a tactical fighter jet by 2021. The new test weapon is part of the AFRL Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) program tasked with developing airborne laser systems.
Could this be developed into a missile killer – like maybe for ICBMs?
It was 5-0 at the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as a Lockheed Martin prototype laser weapon system shot down five unmanned drones with a 100 percent success rate. The August test of the Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) system against five Outlaw drones was designed to demonstrate how the system’s advanced beam control technology and an solid-state fiber laser could decisively destroy unmanned aerial threats.
The radar at the heart of US Army’s Patriot missile system is getting a bit long in the tooth, so Lockheed Martin has announced the debut of its next-generation air and missile defense radar demonstrator. The 360⁰ capable Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for Engagement and Surveillance (ARES) will be unveiled to the public at the 2017 Space & Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.