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Lockheed Martin plans Indago 4 quadcopter UAV launch in late 2021

Lockheed Martin will release its next-generation Indago 4 quadcopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which will feature increased takeoff weight (TOW) and at least twice the payload capacity than found on its predecessor Indago 3 small Group 1 UAV, in the fourth quarter of this year.

Jeff Gardner, business development lead at Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies, told Janes on 17 August that the company expects the Indago 4 to have similar endurance to the Indago 3, which he said can fly for 38–45 minutes depending on the payload. A stripped-down version of the Indago 4, Gardner said, could potentially have an endurance of 60 minutes. Gardner expects the Indago 4 to consistently have 45 minutes of endurance at an altitude of 4,600 ft, the level where a company test facility in Utah is located.

Lockheed Martin spokesperson Heather Kelso said on 19 August that the Indago 4 is larger in its operational mode with unfolded quadcopter arms than the Indago 3 and is roughly 20–30.5 cm larger in size compared to its predecessor. However, in its folded configuration for packability, the Indago 4 is less than 2.5 cm larger than the Indago 3.

Lockheed Martin has a prototype of the Indago 4, which will utilise the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK). This uses an Android cellular phone to control the aircraft's operation via a common capability.

The company is increasing the modularity and replaceability of parts for the Indago 4 after the company heard feedback from customers that it was challenging to replace precision parts in the field, according to Gardner.

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