Boeing and Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (Adasi) signed a teaming agreement on February 18 to support Boeing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the UAE, and to help develop that country’s own technical capabilities. The parties signed the agreement at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) awarded a $10 million contract to Boeing’s Phantom Works research and development unit last month to study a long-endurance, autonomous UAV for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and potentially for strike capability. The four-year study of Boeing’s Dominator UAV will also investigate carriage of the Textron Common Smart Submunition (CSS).
Insitu revealed here this week that Singapore was a customer for the ScanEagle unmanned aerial surveillance system (UAS), and that the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) would evaluate it.
The developer of a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that is orders of magnitude smaller than other radars was awarded a $24 million contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, Mass., to build a “lightweight, ultra-wideband” SAR for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for completion in 2017.
The U.S. military has awarded contracts for UAVs to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services potentially worth nearly $1.5 billion. The main beneficiary appears to be AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which proposed the Australian-built Aerosonde small unmanned aircraft system.
Thales has adapted a Spanish-designed UAV named Fulmar for maritime border surveillance. The French company revealed that the UAV is already operational in an unspecified South Asian country.
The use of another UAV over Libya during NATO Operation Unified protector was revealed, when Insitu stated that the Scan Eagle system was employed. Launched and recovered by the U.S. Navy destroyer Mahan, the Scan Eagle provided video imagery over three days and located “contacts of interest that no one else could find,” according to ships’ officer Lt. Nick Townsend, as quoted by Insitu.
Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, has won the U.S. Navy’s small tactical unmanned air system (STUAS)/Tier II competition to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with an easily deployable ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capability. A decision on STUAS/Tier II was originally expected in the spring, but was delayed while the Navy continued its evaluations of competing systems.
The FAA will be studying how to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System through a cooperative research and development agreement it forged last month with Boeing subsidiary Insitu. This partnership will enable further study of how unmanned aircraft operate and help the industry move closer to a sense-and-avoid solution.
The FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., forged a cooperative research and development agreement with Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu and the New Jersey Air National Guard to study unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and to address their integration into the National Airspace System (NAS).