General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) are collaborating to provide Net-Enabled Weapons (NEW) capability for GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The addition of NEW capability for SeaGuardian will bolster the Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR&T) capability for the aircraft, enabling the platform to rapidly engage targets based on real-time intelligence collected by its sensors. Such capabilities are already supported by the MQ-9 but were not yet implemented by the MQ-8B SeaGuardian.

The NEW technology provides expanded sensor targeting applications for the precision targeting of long-range weapons. SeaGuardian’s demonstrated persistence coupled with its vast array of precision targeting sensors enables more efficient kill chains, especially in contested environments. GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAS, and SeaVue multi-role radar from Raytheon, an RTX business, will effectively leverage Lockheed Martin’s extensive NEW expertise to further refine targeting capabilities for future theater deployments. Initial testing was completed on June 5, 2024, with F/A-18s on the U.S. Navy’s W-289 test range in Southern California.

GA-ASI and Lockheed Martin have been developing Link 16 messages to communicate with weapons inflight using the SeaGuardian Systems Integration Lab (SIL) in preparation for overwater range test flight.

“This is a very important system attribute for SeaGuardian to enable naval long-range targeting CONOPS against high-end threats at much less risk to manned platforms,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “We appreciate Lockheed Martin’s support in helping us prove out the NEW technology, which is an important component of our ISR&T capability.”

MQ-9B SeaGuardian is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS. Its multi-domain capabilities allow it to flex from mission to mission. SeaGuardian has been used by the U.S. in several recent demonstrations, including Northern Edge, Integrated Battle Problem, and Group Sail.