Athena Technologies’ CEO Dr. David Vos is in no doubt that after many false starts, the age of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) really has dawned. His company has become the key element in most of the major UAV programs, including the U.S. Army’s Shadow and the USAF’s Target UAV.
Last month AeroVironment’s RQ-11B Raven B small unmanned air vehicle (SUAV) passed its initial operational test and evaluation. It is already in high-rate production, having been awarded an initial production contract in last October for use by the U.S. Army and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Full-rate production is expected next year, but by then the Raven B will already be widely deployed.
The FPT Industries division of GKN Aerospace has been selected to supply an ultra-lightweight fuel system for the Korean Smart unmanned air vehicle to help enhance critical performance factors such as its ‘loiter on target’ time, range and payload.
The UK Ministry of Defence is preparing to issue an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) for an unmanned aerial surveillance system to help British troops fight Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. Some–maybe all–of the likely contending systems are on display here.
BAE Systems is showing its recently-revealed Herti UAV system here for the first time, but the company’s unmanned, low-observable Raven and Corax vehicles are not on display. They have unambiguous defense applications, whereas the Herti is also aimed at the civilian market for a long-duration, low-cost observation platform.
AGS Industries, a recently formed joint-venture company headquartered in Ottobrunn, Germany, is working on a response to a formal request for proposal for the design and development of NATO’s alliance ground surveillance (AGS) system.
What makes the ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle on display here this week different from the multitude of similar robot airplanes being touted for surveillance today? First, its endurance/payload combination is unmatched for a vehicle of its size, according to Boeing. Second, it is the first small UAV to have an inertially stabilized sensor turret. Third, it has already proved itself in combat, having flown more than 9,000 hours with the U.S.
In a proposed rule issued Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced its intention to require Part 135 air charter operators to submit complete international passenger manifests at least 60 minutes before departure for flights both inbound to and outbound from the U.S.
Disruption of a terrorist plot to bomb airliners flying from the UK to the U.S. prompted the Transportation Security Administration this morning to raise the aviation sector threat condition to high (orange) for all U.S. domestic airline flights and those bound to the U.S. from any foreign country except the UK. Flights to the U.S.
Pilots busting the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone (ADIZ) will now find a helicopter of a different color off their wing to escort them out of the area and into a nearby airport for questioning. The Coast Guard’s orange-and-white HH-65C Dolphins have replaced the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) black-and-gold Black Hawks.