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Lockheed Martin expands possibilities for SkyKeeper C2 system

LMUK's Skykeeper Command is designed for main HQs in semi-static locations or in an ISO-container configuration. (Lockheed Martin UK)

Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK) has finished upgrading the British Army's Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) capability and is developing future iterations of its SkyKeeper command-and-control (C2) software, Janes learnt at a media briefing on 26 March.

LEAPP is a truck-mounted system integrated with the Saab Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (G-AMB) 3D surveillance radar that provides early air-defence warning at land formation headquarters (HQ) through airspace management, surveillance, and ground-based C2. LMUK was awarded a GBP20 million (USD25.12 million) contract in December 2021 to extend the system's life to 2029, which according to LMUK SkyKeeper business development manager Richard Turner at the briefing was completed towards the end of 2023.

The basis of the LEAPP upgrade is the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)-free SkyKeeper ground-based air-defence (GBAD) C2 software, which is now a core part of LEAPP, Turner said. He added that the software is UK intellectual property and can “evolve from LEAPP to satisfy other requirements”.

SkyKeeper enables the integration of multiple organic and non-organic sensors and effectors into a universal networked battle management command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence (BMC4I) system for GBAD. It has a publish and subscribe open architecture, using the data distribution service (DDS) middleware and the GBAD network message set to achieve connectivity and interoperability between subsystems, with gateways embedded as required to external services.

To expand the company's SkyKeeper offering, LMUK has developed four different form factors of the system that will be launched in 2024, Turner said. The larger-form factor offerings include SkyKeeper Command, designed for static or semi-static locations, and SkyKeeper Manoeuvre, which offers a similar capability but for vehicles.

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