Lockheed Martin’s aerostat surpasses millionth hour providing in-theater airborne surveillance

Persistent Threat
Persistent Threat
Detection System

The Lockheed Martin-built and maintained Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) has surpassed one million airborne mission hours of providing around-the-clock, 360-degree monitoring and force protection for coalition forces in theater.

Since 2007, Lockheed Martin has worked with deployed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting the tethered aerostat surveillance system for the U.S. Army.

“PTDS has proven to be a great asset for soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, as well as our coalition partners serving in harm’s way,” said Lt. Col. Michael Parodi, the U.S. Army’s product manager for meteorological and target identification capabilities. “They have been instrumental in providing mission overwatch, detecting [improvised explosive devices] and assisting in the capture of numerous high value targets and weapons caches.”

PTDS has proven to be extremely effective in providing real-time situational awareness to help troops identify IEDs and other threats, track insurgents and enhance overall readiness for the men and women in theater. From building and delivering 66 systems to the Army to providing ground station operations and manning the aerostats in country, the Lockheed Martin team has taken the warfighter mission as its own, says a news release issued by Lockheed Martin on Feb. 19.

“Supporting soldiers with the most effective mission systems is our primary focus every day,” said Mike Oates, vice president with Lockheed Martin Washington Operations for Army and Special Operations Force Programs. “Lockheed Martin is proud of the PTDS system and the Lockheed employees who served alongside soldiers to perform this vital combat surveillance mission.”

With a very large coverage area and capability of remaining aloft 24/7 for weeks at a time in extremely challenging environments, PTDS provides an enduring force protection capability. Equipped with multiple sensors, PTDS gathers and distributes intelligence in support of real-time mission requirements.

The Army’s Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, Product Manager, Meteorological and Target Identification Capabilities, based at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, provides PTDS program and acquisition management.

To see a NATO video about the Persistent Threat Detection System, click here.