Akron's Lockheed Martin hosted representatives from the U.S. Army and others Tuesday to commemorate the delivery of the 66th Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) to provide around the clock surveillance for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parodi, Product Manager for the U.S. Army's Meteorologic and Target Identification Capabilities was on hand to accept delivery of the system.
"We are extremely happy with our industrial partners and their capabilities to provide us with a quality product on time and on budget," Parodi said.
The delivery marked the final one of the Army's current 29-system order before heading to Afghanistan.
Lockheed Martin Director of Integrated Defense Technologies Colleen Arthur tells AkronNewsNow.com it was a proud moment for all involved.
"We celebrated with our employees for the success that they had in delivering the 29th PTDS system, so today was a celebration for us," Arthur said.
Arthur was proud of her team for all they had done and let them know their contribution was a valuable one.
"I told my team today 'Congratulations' and 'Thank You' for all the work they put into this project, and I know that they gave up a lot but it was truly a work of love for them because they know what this provides for the warfighter."
The blimp-like device will serve as the military's eye in the sky as they work overseas.Colonel Parodi discusses how the tethered aerostat system works in combat situations 24-7.
"It provides the commander the capability to use whatever cameras or sensors that are available for situational awareness on the ground for weeks or months at a time."
The PTDS device is mobile, which means it can be easily set up and taken down at any given time, and it also doesn't require a large crew to operate it, according to Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parodi.
Filled with helium, the PTDS system uses sensors that provide communication and surveillance to help warfighters stationed in broad areas.Parodi says their versatility is an asset to conduct multiple missions.
"They're placed where the operational commander can best use their capabilities," he explains.
Lockheed Martin has delivered 66 PTDS systems to the Army to help with their surveillance overseas since the program was started in 2004.