Here at the Paris Air Show, Dassault and BAE Systems have joined forces to display a mockup of the UK company’s Mantis medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV technology demonstrator. The combined exhibit highlights the recent agreement between the two companies to codevelop the Telemos UAS to meet the needs of both British and French armed forces.
UAVs and drones
L-3 Communications has confirmed plans to more than double the size of its Mobius optionally manned aircraft. The new version will be 140 percent larger to allow for a two-seat manned configuration. The second seat can be occupied by a second pilot and/or sensor operator.
The existing development model has a maximum takeoff weight of 3,000 pounds and a wingspan of almost 27 feet.
Elbit Systems of Haifa, Israel, announced the first export sale of its Hermes 900 unmanned aerial system to a “Latin American country,” identified by various sources as Chile. The number of systems and air vehicles to be supplied is unspecified, but the contract includes ground control stations and sensors, including the DCoMPASS (digital compact multi-purpose advanced stabilized system) and radar systems.
During the 2011 International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF), held in Istanbul on May 10 to 13, EADS Cassidian signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), covering the participation of Turkish industry in the Talarion Male UAV program. This modular surveillance platform is being developed to meet projected requirements from France, Germany and Spain.
Honeywell Aerospace said its unmanned T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle has flown several missions in support of disaster-remediation efforts at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan.
Speaking at Dassault’s annual press conference yesterday, CEO Charles Edelstenne clarified that BAE Systems would be the prime contractor for a joint medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft program under the recently announced memorandum of understanding between the two companies. The MoU follows last November’s Anglo-French inter-governmental agreement.
In a significant move, the U.S. government has cleared an unarmed version of the Predator UAV for wider export, including to the Middle East. Until now, the Predator and Reaper series has been exported only to the UK and Italy, and offered to a few other U.S. allies. Long-endurance UAVs are included in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MCTR), a voluntary 34-nation agreement.
Manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may no longer have an excuse not to equip their aircraft with transponders, which should make at least one pilot happy. This pilot told AIN that he experienced a near-miss with a UAV while flying in the southwestern U.S.
The first flight of the Northrop Grumman X-47B demonstrator for the U.S. Navy took place at Edwards AFB on February 4. Northrop Grumman which has been working on the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) contract since August 2007, rolled out the first of two air vehicles in December 2008 and originally predicted a first flight in late 2009.
Major subassemblies for the Neuron UCAV technology demonstrator have been delivered to Dassault Aviation, which acts as prime contractor and design authority for this pan-European project. Sweden-based Saab handed over the front and central sections, while HAI in Greece delivered the rear fuselage.