Israeli sensor specialist Controp Precision Technologies (Hall 3 C17) is displaying a range of its advanced electro-optic/infrared/laser payloads, including several new products. The latest payloads are tailored for use with UAVs, and also for aerostat applications.
UAVs and drones
Austria’s Schiebel (Hall 4 A40) is flying its Camcopter S-100 drone in the daily flying display here in Paris. Imagery from its onboard camera is being transmitted live to the airshow’s TV station.
On display in the IAI corral outside the Israeli Pavilion are two of the company’s latest concepts for providing observation capability. Developed by the Malat division, both can take off and land vertically, and use electric power for ultra-quiet operations.
The $1.6 billion Watchkeeper program for the British Army has made Thales the biggest UAV company in Europe, and in its UAV systems laboratory, also known as the Soul battlelab near Bordeaux, the company’s engineers are exploring the requirements for future ground control stations and mission systems.
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.
Alenia Aeronautica’s standing as a player in the fast-developing UAV market has been bolstered by its role a first-level partner in Europe’s Neuron unmanned combat air vehicle program. Last month, the Italian company delivered the first weapons bay doors and its operating mechanism to program leader Dassault Aviation.
Raytheon’s common ground control system (CGCS) is being cast as an economical solution for controlling unmanned aircraft systems from different manufacturers. This is after it started life several years ago as a tactical control system (TCS) for the U.S. Navy.
Stratospheric UAVs–mostly airships–that stay airborne flying for months or years will form a new communications and sensing infrastructure, according to the Market Intel Group (www.marketintelgroup.com). Government contracts are funding development of such UAVs at present, but commercial markets will eventually dwarf defense requirements.
A comeback for airships? How many times have you heard that before? However, thanks to generous funding by the Pentagon, four separate projects to develop very large buoyant air vehicles for unmanned persistent surveillance missions are under way in the U.S. Three of them are to take to the air within the next few months.
Israel’s Elbit Systems has announced a number of important developments in recent weeks, covering a range of the company’s diverse capabilities. A selection of its services and products are showcased on the company’s booth in the Israeli Pavilion.