A new version of the General Atomics Predator/Reaper UAV series with multiple sensor control is ready for deployment to Afghanistan after successful trials. A U.S. Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle was fitted with two additional EO/IR sensors under each wing.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
News and issues relating to civil and military unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) of all kinds and sizes, including those used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), combat (unmanned combat air vehicles, or UCAVs), law enforcement, research and other applications. Of particular focus is the FAA's planned integration of UAS into the U.S. national airspace system.
Ongoing major requirements and a growing defense budget in the Republic of Korea prompted a big showing by major aerospace companies from Europe and Israel, as well as the U.S., at the Seoul Air Show in mid-October. Show organizers claimed that nearly two-thirds of the 313 exhibitors were from 30 foreign countries.
A cooperation between General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Selex Galileo will enable the integration and control of non-U.S. sensors on the Predator and Reaper UAV series. Selex Galileo has developed a “platform agnostic” open architecture named SkyIstar for unmanned aerial systems. The Anglo-Italian company will now integrate the SeaSpray 7500E radar on a Predator-B.
U.S. special or covert forces are using hand-launched UAVs disguised as large birds to monitor terrorist movements along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Pakistan Frontier Corps recovered one such UAV after it crashed on August 25 near one of its border forts in Baluchistan.
"Surges" of Puma and Raven small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are boosting U.S. Army operations in Afghanistan. Responding to an urgent operational requirement there, the Army has ordered 180 new Puma systems to protect route clearance patrols from IEDs. This follows earlier urgent requirements for the two aircraft, manufactured by AeroVironment, of Monrovia, Calif.
Goodrich signed an agreement to distribute an electronic fuel injection system developed by Australian firm Currawong Engineering. Currawong’s Small Engine Electronic Fuel Injection System (SEEFIS) can “dramatically increase” the reliability and fuel efficiency of small internal combustion engines in UAVs that run on gasoline or heavy fuels such as JP8, the companies say.
Photographs of a new Chinese UAV have been posted on Chinese websites. They show a joined-wing design that was previously shown in model form at the Zhuhai airshow.
Raytheon revealed a hyperspectral sensor, which has been adapted to the MQ-1 Predator UAV, at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. The airborne cueing and exploitation system hyperspectral (Aces HY) is believed to be the first such sensor to enter series production for a tactical airborne platform.