U.S. combat drones can track targets independently
The U.S. company GA-ASI announced that the U.S. Army’s Avenger drone is now capable of tracking targets in autonomous mode. It uses a Lockheed Martin Legion sensor system to detect military and civilian targets.
Previous generations of drones detected targets using radar. This way of searching has some serious drawbacks. The radar signal can be blocked by natural or artificial interference. In addition, the enemy can calculate the location of the radar station itself.
The Avenger drone has a dedicated Legion Pod reconnaissance unit that is used on the F-16 and F-15C fighters. The system is equipped with an IRST21 infrared sensor that processes data about external objects. The Legion Pod has typical interfaces that do not involve major changes to the aircraft design.
Integration of the new drone with the software took only 3 months. The aircraft interacts with the platform using the OMS data exchange system.
During tests, the combat drone successfully detected targets that were moving at high speed, and independently performed simulated maneuvers aimed at destroying these objects.