The Lockheed Martin Polecat (company designation P-175) was an unmanned aerial vehicle by Lockheed Martin. It was developed by the company’s Advanced Development Programs division in Palmdale, California. “Polecat” is a colloquialism for a skunk, in an apparent reference to the popular “Skunk Works” nickname for the Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs division.
Design and Development
Designated P-175, the Polecat was funded internally by Lockheed Martin (as opposed to using United States Government funds) at the beginning of 2005. The prototype was unveiled at the 2006 Farnborough Airshow. It was developed over a period of 18 months.
On December 18, 2006, the aircraft crashed due to an “irreversible unintentional failure in the flight termination ground equipment, which caused the aircraft’s automatic fail-safe flight termination mode to activate.”
In Dec 2009, unconfirmed rumours surfaced that the Polecat had been seen operating in Afghanistan from as far back as 2007 which leads speculation that the Polecat has been folded into the roster of secret US “Black” projects.
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|USA||Lockheed Martin||Bethesda, Maryland||http://www.lockheedmartin.com|