On May 30, 2024, Lockheed Martin announced a $10 million USD investment in PV Labs, a Canadian firm renowned for its expertise in developing turnkey aerial imaging solutions. This investment represents one of the largest Lockheed Martin has made under Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy, tied to the In-Service Support Contract for the CC-130J aircraft.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry said: “The partnership between Lockheed Martin and PV Labs is a great example of innovative collaborations that advance Canada’s capabilities and expertise in the aerospace and defence sector. Collaborations like these strengthen industries, advance Canadian small and medium‑sized businesses, and secure long-term economic opportunities, all while cementing Canada’s place as an innovative leader in the aerospace and defence industry.”

Revolutionizing Airborne Technology

The funds are directed towards advancing the commercialization of PV Labs’ innovative airborne technology, specifically their Fifth-generation Advanced Stabilization Turret (FAST) technology. This modular and scalable gimbal technology, protected by intellectual property rights, promises unprecedented performance in smaller, lighter systems. This leap in technology is set to redefine size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) metrics, catering to the global airborne electro-optical and infra-red markets.

PV Labs: A Pillar in Aerial Imaging

Located in Burlington, Ontario, PV Labs has established itself as a leader in designing and developing airborne imaging systems for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications, serving a range of governmental and military clients worldwide.

Building on Previous Investments

Lockheed Martin’s relationship with PV Labs began with a prior investment in 2019, which helped transition the FAST technology from concept to reality. This initial funding enabled the creation of the first full prototype of the PV 1520 airborne ISR camera system. The latest investment aims to advance the FAST ISR product line towards full commercialization.

“Lockheed Martin has always been focused on partnerships which support Canada’s economic stability for years to come. Exemplifying that commitment, this continued collaboration with PV Labs is one of our largest investments made under Canada’s ITB Policy. We’re proud to support the development of Canadian-made solutions in aerial imaging, which will address a worldwide need and create 21st Century Security® solutions that keep Canada and its allies ahead of emerging threats,” expressed Lorraine Ben, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Canada.

PVISR Product Line

Manufacturing and Economic Impact

With this new investment, PV Labs is set to develop and manufacture the first four sizes in the FAST range, targeting aerospace and defense markets. These products will be distributed both domestically and internationally from their Canadian base. The economic impact is substantial, with projections indicating the hiring of approximately 25 full-time engineers within the next year, followed by additional personnel in subsequent years. Sales forecasts predict annual revenues between $70 million and $100 million within five years.

“For over 40-years, PV Labs has delivered industry disrupting solutions in aerial imaging. The commercialization of the FAST product continues this tradition. Through our collaboration with Lockheed Martin, PV Labs is addressing a significant need for high performing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance variants. The FAST technology brings our Canadian innovation and expertise to the global stage,” explained Mark Chamberlain, CEO and President, PV Labs.

Leveraging Canada’s ITB Policy

Under Canada’s ITB Policy, companies awarded defense procurement contracts must engage in business activities in Canada equivalent to the value of the contracts. This policy is designed to drive job creation, innovation, and economic growth across the country, ensuring that defense procurements contribute significantly to the national economy.

Lockheed Martin’s continued investment in PV Labs underscores a commitment to fostering technological advancements and economic growth in Canada, promising a future where cutting-edge aerial imaging technology plays a pivotal role in global ISR applications.