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Lockheed Martin rolls out new tactical ISR satellites

Lockheed Martin rolls out new tactical ISR satellites

The prime has launched a new line of satellites, designed to enhance tracking capabilities in contested warfighting environments.

Lockheed Martin has announced the rollout of new tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites, based on its LM 400 mid-size bus.

The new satellites are designed to enable tactical warfighters to track moving targets at long ranges, while also allowing them to operate in contested and denied environments on compressed timelines.

According to Lockheed, the satellites fully integrate space ISR with warfighting platforms and weapons of across domains, shortening the find-fix-finish kill chain.


The LM 400-based tactical ISR satellites are expected to offer the following capabilities:

  • Interoperability: Leveraging the Open Mission System (OMS) and Universal Command and Control Interface (UCI) to connect with other warfighting platforms and battle management systems from all services.
  • Adaptability: Using Lockheed Martin’s SmartSat platform to develop and deploy new mission capabilities on orbit to address evolving threats.
  • Power: Supporting payloads up to 14 kilowatts and up to 1,500 kilograms of mass, enabling extended operation of a wide-range of sensor technologies.
  • Autonomy, survivability, and combat-readiness: Enabling in-theatre, low-latency sensor tasking, on-orbit processing of mission data, protected communications and direct downlink of situational awareness and targeting information — helping to shorten the sensor-to-shooter timeline against fleeting targets.

“Digital engineering and manufacturing are accelerating our ability to deploy robust, future-focused constellations that feature leading-edge technology for our customers’ missions,” Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space, said.

“Our LM 400 is a highly adaptable, mid-sized satellite and yet can be produced at scale in a rapid and cost-effective manner."

Lockheed Martin also revealed plans to develop and build 10 space vehicles over the next two years for the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Transport Layer Tranche 0, in a bid to bolster connectivity between ISR and warfighters.



Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Cyber, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

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