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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

17 September 2015

DSEI 2015: MoD Awards LM Another Six Years of Desert Hawk 3 Support

Andy Horler, business development manager, Integrated Systems, Lockheed Martin UK confirmed that Lockheed Martin had won a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence is continue its support of the Desert Hawk 3.

Desert Hawk has been in service with the UK’s armed forces since 2009 and has logged over 30,000 operational hours. Lockheed Martin will feed in software and hardware updates over the period of the contract. The UAS is now considered to be a core defence capability by the UK.

The Desert Hawk 3 is a hand launched system that weighs 8 lbs. (3.6 kg) and can fly for up to 90 minutes with a 2-lb. (0.91 kg) payload. The UK’s version has already been upgraded to include a digital data link.

Commenting on the contract, UK Defence Minister Philip Dunne said: "Desert Hawk has proved its worth on operations in Afghanistan, providing our Armed Forces with vital intelligence and allowing our commanders to stay one step ahead of the enemy.”

Lockheed Martin recently revealed a Desert Hawk 3.1 kit that will allow the UAS an extended two and a half hour endurance, waterproofing, and adaptions that make it easier to launch and recovery. “Soldiers can launch it crouching or even from the prone position,” said Horler. Previously it has been launched by hand by a soldier throwing it into the air at a recommended angle.

A new version, Desert Hawk 4 is planned to offer an extended range fuel cell that will provide for 4.5 hours of flight or, if not used, would allow another 1kg in payload.

Andrew Drwiega