Stephanie Hill, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems

Greg Ulmer, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

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Imagine a conversation with Allan and Malcolm Loughead (who later became the “Lockheed” brothers) in 1913 on the day they flew the Model-G Hydro-Aeroplane, or with aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky after his first practical helicopter took flight in Connecticut in 1939. How would you explain the game-changing, integrated capabilities of today’s next-generation aircraft—and what they’ll be capable of in the future?

It starts with three core capabilities: speed, connectivity and intelligence.

At Lockheed Martin, our global team has embraced the same sense of discovery as our founders to push limits and break barriers. Today, as we consider the integrated battlespace and how Joint All-Domain Operations (JADO) is transforming the future of aviation, we’re looking ahead to a fully realized vision of JADO in three critical areas:

1. Speed

From hypersonic speed – the ability for a vehicle to travel five times faster than the speed of sound – to supersonic speed and our partnership with NASA on the X-59 to silence the sonic boom, we’re opening the doors to new possibilities in both military and civil aviation by going fast.

At Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, we’re working to revolutionize the future of vertical flight by developing next-generation rotorcraft designed to exceed 230 knots, or approximately 265 miles per hour. Our transformational X2® technology enables Sikorsky’s “speed-where-it-matters” approach and is designed to deliver significant improvements in maneuverability, survivability and scalability.

X2 underpins both of Sikorsky’s offerings for the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programs. RAIDER X® is Sikorsky’s solution for the Future Attack Reconnaissance (FARA) program, designed to exceed 200 knots, or approximately 230 miles per hour, and DEFIANT X™, the Sikorsky-Boeing offering for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program, is designed to exceed 230 knots.

Beyond aircraft speed, we’re infusing digital approaches and disruptive innovation in our processes, technology and tools to drive faster deliveries, agile responsiveness and data-driven insights for our customers around the globe. Lockheed Martin’s StarDrive digital environment increases efficiencies and reduces risk and cost, directly impacting current and future efforts.

2. Connectivity

Military assets of the 21st Century perform best together – across air, sea, land, space and cyber and across allied nations. Capabilities like open systems architecture make this vision of a connected network possible, linking disparate systems to dominate in the battlespace.

The F-35 plays an essential role in 21st Century Warfare, using its advanced sensors and connectivity to gather, analyze and seamlessly share critical information across platforms, services and allied nations.

Our open systems architecture enables rapid integration of JADO connectivity to meet an ever-changing environment. Both RAIDER X and DEFIANT X are designed to integrate into the JADO ecosystem – well beyond the capabilities of traditional rotary-wing technology.

3. Intelligence

Connectivity across systems increases access to information, and that information provides intelligence to empower warfighters with the data needed to quickly make decisions that drive action. Our 21st Century Warfare vision leverages technologies like open systems architecture, artificial intelligence and machine learning to use data as a strategic asset in the joint battlespace and ensure mission success.

One example of this is Sikorsky’s MATRIX™ Technology which will enable today’s operators and future aviators to fly large aircraft reliably as autonomous or optionally piloted vehicles. MATRIX Technology is like a virtual second pilot that will help aviators identify threats and understand the environment they’re operating in, making it possible for them to fly safely and confidently in dangerous and complex mission environments.

In addition, F-35 sensor fusion connects systems across the battlespace, providing vast amounts of information to accelerate decision making. The F-35 has participated in a series of exercises since 2013, including Project Hydra and Northern Edge, highlighting its unmatched capability of information gathering, synthesizing and sharing to overwhelm adversaries.


The future of flight is bright thanks to the men and women of Lockheed Martin that challenge the norm and imagine the “what if” to bring game-changing solutions to reality. Our team continues to keep the customer at the forefront of everything we do to quickly provide the best solutions and meet the needs of the mission, charting a path for the future of flight.

About the Authors

Stephanie Hill is executive vice president of the Rotary and Mission Systems business area for Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn


Greg Ulmer is executive vice president of the Aeronautics business area for Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Connect with Greg on LinkedIn