This week’s Dubai Airshow was the first time that a UAE Air Tractor AT-802i has been shown in public. The UAE purchased 24 of these highly modified agricultural aircraft, and took delivery of the first in late 2010. Media reports suggest that six of the aircraft are being donated to Jordan but probably with armament capability removed.
Yesterday Eagle Aviation took delivery of this Tecnam MMA light surveillance platform here at the Dubai Airshow. It is intended for use in the Middle East for pipeline patrol duties. The MMA is the Italian Tecnam P2006T light twin outfitted with a special mission suite by systems integrator Airborne Technologies of Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Eagle signed up for the aircraft at this year’s Paris Air Show in June, specifying the Wescam MX-10 sensor ball and Broadcast Microwave Systems downlink system. Celebrating the delivery of the San Marino-registered MMA were Aftab H.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou ceremonially welcomed the first Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft at Pingtung airbase on October 31. Three days later, the island’s first six Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters arrived from the U.S. by sea. Neither event was publicized by the U.S. government or the contractors, no doubt because of concern that mainland China would react adversely.
Three members of the Fairfax County (Virginia) police department’s helicopter unit are the winners of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s 2013 Gus Crawford Air Crew of the Year Award for their rescue of two small lost boys last January. The award was presented at the association’s annual convention in late July.
Beechcraft said that it accomplished the first flight of a production AT-6 light attack aircraft in Wichita on Tuesday. The first flight of an AT-6 production representative test vehicle occurred in September 2009.
L-3 Wescam, manufacturer of stabilized, multi-spectral imaging systems, reported sales of more than $13 billion last year and has launched two new systems that are designed to lower the cost of development testing and sustainment of fielded electro-optical/infrared surveillance and targeting systems. The new MX-Emulator and MX-Raid are part of L-3 Wescam’s MX portfolio serving the military, homeland security and airborne law enforcement.
Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Iomax USA (Chalet A132) has chosen the Paris Air Show to launch its ArchAngel border-patrol aircraft. The ArchAngel has a wide variety of sensor and weapon options available and offers customers a low-cost but highly effective platform for a range of ISR and light attack missions. ArchAngel is in many ways an evolution from the Air Tractor AT-802U armed agricultural aircraft that was previously displayed at Le Bourget. However, much has changed since then.
Airborne full-motion video technology (FMV) is advancing so fast that the NATO standard (STANAG 4609) cannot keep pace, according to George DeCock, director of international EO/IR sensors, L-3 Wescam. The digital revolution has been closely followed by high-definition TV, uncooled infrared detectors, four-axis stabilization and processing and display innovations.
Schiebel reported trials of its Camcopter S-100 on a frigate of the Italian Navy, equipped with a Wescam MX-10 high-definition camera. The small unmanned helicopter “has successfully proved its maritime capability on 14 different classes of vessel in three oceans,” the company claims. A trial with the French navy is ongoing.
North American Surveillance Systems (Booth No. 617), a global provider and integrator of airborne surveillance systems, is expanding its capabilities with new simulator training designed specifically for the world’s top-selling intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance cameras.
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