Absent from Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS Dragon line-up is the most famous LM product to carry that name. True, the U-2 Dragon Lady is the responsibility of a different LM division–Aeronautics–but with the evergreen spyplane about to enjoy a new lease on life, it seems strange that LM has done little to promote what is arguably the most capable multi-intelligence aircraft ever built.
Officials from Raytheon UK and personnel from the Royal Air Force (RAF) are emphasizing the excellent performance of the Sentinel R.1 Airborne Stand-Off Radar (Astor) system over Afghanistan and Libya. They are hoping that the UK Ministry of Defence will reverse its 2010 decision to withdraw the ground surveillance system, which flies on five Bombardier Global Express business jets, after most British troops leave Afghanistan in 2014.
As UAVs become more prevalent, their capabilities will continue to develop. If you haven’t seen the videos demonstrating the nano-quadrotor UAVs under development at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, then you are missing something.
U.S. Air Force leadership has defended the decision to halt acquisition and current operations of the Global Hawk Block 30 UAV, in favor of retaining the manned Lockheed Martin U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.
Raytheon has just conducted a successful trial of its Griffin B forward-launch small precision weapon. The test demonstrated the weapon’s capability to defend a forward operating base (FOB). The Griffin was fired from a fixed Wedge launcher against target coordinates more than 2.5 miles away provided by sensors mounted on a tethered aerostat, of the type that are typically raised to protect Army FOBs. The Griffin A aft-launch version is in service with the U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Harvest Hawk aircraft and the Air Force’s MC-130W Dragon Spear.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) previewed a Fiscal Year 2013 budget submission on January 26 that slows procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, terminates the Global Hawk Block 30 and retires some C-5As and C-130s. The $613 billion DoD budget will be submitted to Congress in February with the federal budget.
Northrop Grumman flew the Euro Hawk UAV demonstrator for the German air force (GAF) to Manching airbase near Munich for further development and testing. The journey from Edwards AFB in California on July 20 took slightly more than 22 hours, four hours longer than originally planned, and was delayed 48 hours by weather and flight-plan difficulties.
Northrop Grumman officials during a Paris Air Show briefing reported that the first Block 40 Global Hawk high-altitude UAV for the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to make its first flight this week equipped with the Northrop Grumman/Raytheon radar technology insertion program (RTIP) sensor.
BAE Systems brings its Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) to the Paris Air Show seeking to extend the life of its hugely successful trainer, which has already trained around 20,000 pilots. There are plenty of opportunities for the Hawk AJT, including the potentially massive T-X requirement for a T-38 replacement for the U.S. Air Force.