Army awards OTAs to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman for Launched Effects program

By Dan Schere / November 29, 2023 at 10:45 AM

The Army has awarded other transaction agreements to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for the first phase of the Launched Effects (LE) program, the service announced Wednesday.

Launched Effects “will provide standoff sense and effect capabilities for soldiers while keeping air and ground forces outside the range of adversary weapon systems,” according to the service’s Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors. LE will also support forces “entering and exiting mission areas.”

The LE program consists of three phases, and during that span the Army aims to mature payloads from a technology readiness level of 6, a prototype system that has been tested in a relevant environment, to TRL 7 -- a prototype that has been demonstrated in an operational environment.

Northrop has been awarded for two payloads and Lockheed has been awarded for one, with each award valued at about $100,000, according to the Army. The OTA will total about $37 million over all three phases.

In Phase 1, the payloads will be integrated and tested within infrared and electronic warfare realms, and Phase 2 involves maturing the TRL 6 payloads and integrating them into a “captive carry test event,” Dennis Teefy, the project director for sensors-aerial intelligence (PD SAI) said in a statement. Phase 3 will be “a final integration and flight test in a chosen uncrewed aerial vehicle.”

The LE program of record is currently “being defined” by the Army’s Program Executive Office for Aviation. The first iteration, expected no earlier than fiscal year 2030, will be used to support user evaluations before fielding the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, according to the service. PD SAI will manage the payloads and will work with PEO Aviation and Project Manager Uncrewed Aircraft to ensure the payloads meet threshold requirements.