GA-ASI Integrates Legion Pod Onto Avenger Remotely Piloted Aircraft

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) integrated a Lockheed Martin Legion Pod onto an Avenger Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in a recent flight test, GA-ASI announced on Jan. 15.

Taking less than three months for the Legion Pod integration to move from concept to flight, the 90-minute captive-carry flight test verified mechanical interfaces and aerodynamics safety of flight for the aircraft. The flight test demonstrated the enhanced autonomous sensing capabilities for the unmanned aircraft.

“Our flight demonstration revealed the quick reaction capabilities of the Avenger RPA,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Strategic Development J.R. Reid. “From software and hardware architecture implementation to sensor integration, the Avenger is a great platform for delivering critical capabilities.”

The Legion Pod’s infrared search and track (IRST) system provides passive, high-fidelity detection and tracking of air-to-air targets in radar-denied environments.

“The successful integration of Legion Pod on the Avenger RPA is a testament to the flexibility of the Legion Pod system from a fighter aircraft to an unmanned aircraft, which means Legion Pod has proven its capabilities can assist our warfighter and keep them ahead of threats,” said Kenen Nelson, director of Fixed Wing Sensor Programs at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control. “We are excited to see how our IRST21® systems will be integrated on other unmanned platforms.”

Legion Pod is a multi-function sensor system that supports collaborative targeting operations in radar-denied environments. Housed in a 16-inch diameter structure, Legion Pod’s baseline configuration includes an IRST21 sensor and advanced processor for high-fidelity detection and tracking of air-to-air targets.

GA-ASI said in the statement that additional follow-on flights are planned for 2021.

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