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Guardium Undergoing Operational Testing

Above: Unmanned Little Bird
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September 2009 Unmanned Systems Brief

Previous reports: (July-August | September | October)

Honeywell Awarded $30 Million T-Hawk Order

Honeywell was awarded $30 million contract to deliver 46 T-Hawk (Block II Micro Aerial Vehicle) systems. 40 of the systems are destined to the U.S. Navy and six to the British Ministry of Defence. The cost of the two systems differs significantly – while the unit cost of the U.S. T-Hawks systems is about $700,000 the systems to be delivered to the UK cost British cost $437,000 each. The gap could reflect the costs of different payload systems.

India, Germany to Field Harop Lethal Drones

The Indian Air Force is planning to deploy the Israeli Harop lethal UAV within two years, fielding a lethal capability with its UAV force for the first time. Earlier this year Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced a $100 million order for Harop unmanned systems. IAI is also working with the German company Rheinmetall Defence to adapt the Harop system to address the requirements of the German Army. A procurement contract for the Harop is expected soon.

L3 Geneva Aerospace to Deliver Viking 400 UAVs to SOCOM

L3 subsidiary Geneva Aerospace was awarded a $6 million contract by the Special Operations Command, for the development and production of the Expeditionary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (EUAS) system. The classified program is expected to provide SOCOM with integral surveillance and reconnaissance capability. The potential value to Geneva, over five years could be $250 million. Geneva is expected to have the first systems available for testing within months. For example, the Mobius optionally piloted UAV developed with company finding has reached maturity and is expected to be available for operational service in October. (read more...)

Canada Assists Australia in operating Heron UAVs

Australia and Canada have signed a cooperation agreement to introduce the Heron Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) with the Royal Australian Air Force contingent operating in Afghanistan. “The experience that Air Force gains in operating long endurance UAVs in Afghanistan will also help shape the development of unmanned Defence capabilities for Australia, through the next decade" Australian Minister for Defence Senator John Faulkner said. According to Senator Faulkner, the Australian Air power of the future will involve a balance of manned and unmanned platforms. "In particular a long endurance UAV can enhance force protection by providing ground commanders with real time intelligence” the senator added. (read more...)

Falco UAV Flys with PicoSAR Payload

The Italian Falco Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by Selex Galileo of Finmeccanica completed a series of flight tests aimed at expanding its ISR capabilities, through the integration of multiple sensors. In recent months the unmanned aircraft was flown with the PicoSAR Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The new high resolution SAR has the ability to detect, and identify, with extreme accuracy, possible disturbance of the ground surface which, when coupled with its change detection function - could hint of the emplacement of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). (read more...)

K-MAX to Demonstrate Hauling Cargo for the U.S. Marines

Kaman Corporation has received a $0.86 million order from the U.S. Marine Corps to demonstrate the ability of the Unmanned K-MAX helicopter to deliver cargo to troops in extreme environments and at high altitudes. Teamed with Lockheed Martin, the K-MAX team will demonstrate the unmanned helicopter's capability to deliver cargo a round trip distance of 150 nautical miles. (read more...)

Brazilian Federal Police Evaluates Israel's Heron UAVs

Heron IAI concluded a successful demonstration of the Heron unmanned aerial system in Brazil. Performed for the Brazilian federal police, the Heron demonstrated its capabilities to perform border protection, counter-smuggling, drug interdiction and protection of natural resources. (read more...)