An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could soon be coming to civil airspace near you, and the FAA wants to know what you think. The safety considerations of mixing piloted aircraft in NextGen airspace with those flown by people on the ground or even totally by computer are serious concerns for most aviators.
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.
Israel has a major presence here at the Singapore Airshow, arranged into a national pavilion under the auspices of SIBAT, the Israeli MOD’s defense export and cooperation division. Nine companies are exhibiting as part of the pavilion, between them offering what Brig. Gen. Shmaya Avieli, SIBAT’s director, describes as, “a wide range of Israeli technologies in the aviation, space and defense sectors, that together create a full and complete solution.”
Get ready for some serious angst. The FAA reauthorization just passed by the U.S. House and Senate includes specific direction to the FAA regarding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Elements of the legislation include a Sept.
The Pentagon is now spending $3.3 billion annually to develop and buy unmanned aerial systems (UAS), but this sum is still only 8 percent of the total devoted to all aircraft, according to a new report on UAS by the U.S. Congressional Research Service. The report mostly rehashes previously published material, but it does contain an updated inventory of UAS platforms in service provided by the DoD’s UAS Task Force.
I have been following with interest the developing story of how Iran has reportedly managed to capture some of the U.S.’s most sensitive surveillance technology, and I still have to shake my head at what a waste it was.
Iran claimed December 4 to have shot down a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel UAV along the country’s eastern border. Five days later, an almost intact airframe closely resembling the secret airframe was shown on Iranian television. The NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul admitted that operators of “a US unarmed reconnaissance UAV” had lost control of it during “a mission over western Afghanistan late last week”.
The U.S. Air National Guard is conducting training flights with the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in restricted airspace around Fort Drum in western New York State, where an Air Guard wing has established the first such Reaper flight school.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) of California belatedly revealed that its Lynx multimode radar had been flown successfully on an aerostat during a U.S. Air Force exercise last July.