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General Atomics Fits Infrared Targeting Pod Into Avenger Drone

A General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) Avenger drone recently completed a test flight equipped with a Lockheed Martin Legion Pod. Conducted to assess mechanical interfaces and aerodynamic safety, the test demonstrated the drone’s enhanced autonomous sensing capabilities.

The captive-carry flight test took 90 minutes with results revealing the quick reaction capabilities of the Avenger drone, GA-ASI said.

Lockheed Martin Legion Pod

The Legion Pod’s infrared search and track system allows for better detection and tracking of air-to-air targets, especially in areas where radar cannot be used. The sensors work passively, meaning hostile aircraft won’t notice they are being tracked.

The successful integration shows the pod’s flexibility and versatility, according to Lockheed Martin Fixed Wing Sensor Programs Director Kenen Nelson. Its ability to be used from “a fighter aircraft to an unmanned aircraft… means Legion Pod has proven its capabilities can assist our warfighter and keep them ahead of threats,” he said.

GA-ASI and Lockheed Martin worked together for three months, allowing the companies to complete development of the technological interface from concept to flight, improving the surveillance capabilities of the Avenger drone.

Additional flights with the Legion Pod-equipped Avenger are planned for later this year.

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