Lockheed Martin is offering an on-demand intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) service for customers who lack the funds for dedicated ISR aircraft.

The programme has its roots in the company's Dragon programme, which was launched to retrofit customer aircraft with ISR capabilities, said Charles Gulledge, business development at Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed has labelled the service Net Dragon, with the name inspired by private jet fractional ownership firm Net Jets.

In addition to the Lockheed Martin-owned Gulfstream III that Lockheed uses both as a test bed for ISR systems and as a technology demonstrator for international customers, it also owns five ISR capable aircraft for lease, two Piper Navajos and three Rockwell Sabreliners.

The company can also furnish aircraft operated by other companies with ISR equipment. Gulledge said using ISR assets on a need-to basis is more affordable for countries than owning dedicated ISR assets.

"Our Dragon ISR configurations offer a unique approach for customers to match mission requirements and budget to sensor, communications and airframe needs," said Gulledge.

"Sensor configurations are customised according to a customer's mission requirement and are net-centric capable to enable joint coalition inter-operability. Cost and capability vary depending on the chosen configuration."

He added that given the sensitivity of the technologies involved, Lockheed needs approval from the US government before entering agreements for ISR services.

Source: Flight International