As the U.S. military market for unmanned aircraft becomes more crowded, Lockheed Martin is banking on its new Indago quadcopter to rake in domestic and international sales not only to defense agencies but also to the civil and commercial sectors.
The Indago is a five-pound unmanned aerial system with a five-kilometer range and 45-minute endurance, said Jay McConville, the company's unmanned integrated systems business development director.
Its payload can be easily swapped out, and the UAS can be launched while in prone position, making it a good fit for troops on the ground, he said.
"It also has great application for commercial and civil use as well, and we're starting to see some movement in that market with Indago, and expecting good things to come out of that," he told reporters in June.
Lockheed has already partnered with two U.S. companies in the commercial and civil sectors, McConville said. In the first agreement, Lockheed will work with FourthWing Sensors LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to lease aircraft to farmers who can fly the quadcopter over crops and gather video imagery that allows them to monitor growth.
"They can use hyperspectral imaging and other types of sensor capabilities [to] save money and make their farming operation more efficient," he said. "That's a great capability, and we're...