Lockheed Martin has announced its latest entry in its UAS portfolio of products, the OUTRIDER, designed to provide enhanced Situational Awareness (SA) in environments where launching a conventional UAV is not practical.
The drone has been designed with a patented launch canister and has a high degree of wind tolerance. The OUTRIDER can be launched from ground, surface, air or sub-surface at the press of a button. This enables enhanced SA to be delivered across the land, maritime and air environments at all levels, from individual platforms, to operations rooms and Headquarters.
The UAS was designed and developed at Lockheed UK’s Havant facility in Hampshire, in collaboration with Wirth Research. The company reports that the aircraft is four inches wide, weighs a mere 1.7kg (3.7lbs), and is capable of reaching speeds up to 50 knots (57.5mph). The OUTRIDER can stay airborne for over two hours, providing vital SA to operators for up to twice as long as others in its class.
“We are proud to offer Outrider which has been designed and built in the UK for the international market,” said Paul Livingston, vice president and group managing director, Lockheed Martin UK – Integrated Systems.
“It provides secure leading edge situational awareness capabilities in its class for ground, surface, air or sub-surface operational environments and can be launched at the press of a button.”
For scenarios such as a submerged submarine trying to avoid detection, or emergency services dealing with a hazardous environment, OUTRIDER allows crews to stay at a safe standoff distance whilst gathering the data they need to complete their mission.
While the drone has been developed with military applications in mind, Lockheed is also focusing attention on the commercial market. As such, different models of the UAS will be available, one compliant with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and a second ITAR-free configuration.
The OUTRIDER comes equipped with gimballed HD video and IR cameras delivering stabilised, quality footage in day and night conditions, and packaged to maximise capability whilst maintaining a small form factor.
“We’re excited and very proud of our collaboration with Lockheed Martin UK on the Outrider project,” said Nick Wirth, CEO and founder of Oxfordshire-based Wirth Research, which specialises in motor racing engineering.
“Performance enhancement and innovation are fundamental to our motor sport heritage at Wirth Research. Transferring this approach from racing, combined with our rapid concept development and aero expertise, has been key to successfully meeting the technical challenges set by the Lockheed Martin team. Outrider is the leading edge result.”
- Mass and Range: ~1.7 kg : 15 km, up to 30-40 km with relay
- Time on Station: 2+ hours
- Dash Speed: ~50 knots
- Loiter: ~35 knots
- Environmental: Rain Resistant, can be launched to 15 knots wind, Sea State 4
Here is a promotional video courtesy of Wirth Research