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Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® & Shearwater are completely transforming RPAS flight planning with AI

Ottawa [Ontario], May 29, 2023 – Shearwater Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® today announced a strategic collaboration to reduce operator workload by automating route planning for any uncrewed aerial system using Skunk Works’ next generation VCSi ground control station software, with Shearwater’s Smart Flight™ world leading AI technology.

The new technology will be showcased during the upcoming CANSEC show in Ottawa, Ontario, from May 31st to June 1st. The live walkthrough of the integrated product will highlight how it can be used to reduce operator workload and create more reliable routes that are considerably faster and require less energy than manually planned missions.

Shearwater’s Smart Flight™ software automatically coordinates uncrewed aerial systems and generates dynamic flight routes that avoid no-fly zones, obstacles and bad weather, while leveraging wind energy, an abundant source of free energy that until now has gone completely untapped. It is designed to function as a decision support system for piloted operations, or as a decision-making system for fully autonomous operations.

“Our Skunk Works team in Calgary is proud to collaborate with Shearwater to incorporate their AI mission planning software into our Vehicle Control Station (VCS) ecosystem, which has provided over 2.5 million hours of operational use of uncrewed systems,” stated Michael Baker, Program Manager at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® in Canada. “Smart Flight™ has the unique ability to enable goal-based planning, whereby the system automatically generates the most efficient flight routes based on operator goals. This not only reduces operator workload, but it paves the way for operators to start commanding multiple uncrewed aerial systems at the same time.”

“We’re excited to be expanding our collaboration with Skunk Works and advancing our integration with VCSi, which is already the leading ground control software today. Adding Smart Flight’s AI technology will continue to position VCSi at the forefront of the market and provide customers with unmatched capabilities that cannot be found anywhere else,” said Chad Armstrong, CEO of Shearwater Aerospace.

About Shearwater Aerospace

Shearwater is pioneering innovative, autonomous technologies to continuously challenge the limits of flight and enable organizations to scale their drone operations. Shearwater’s AI-powered Smart Flight™ software can be used with any type of uncrewed aerial system and removes the need for each system to have a dedicated human pilot. It provides enhanced onboard decision-making, enables uncrewed aerial systems to collaborate, and reduces the exposure to human errors, resulting in a massive increase in the number, length and range of missions while reducing operating costs and ensuring high levels of safety and regulatory compliance.

Press Contact

For any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Chad Armstrong at 514-809-0663 or email

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