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DARPA calls for proposals to study tools to enable soldiers to operate and control swarms of up to 250 collaborating bots. Such swarms will be able to support soldiers fighting in an urban area, providing critical situational awareness, understanding, and decision making.
In this edition, we review some of the highlights of the AUSA exhibition held last week in Washington DC. Our coverage includes new guided weapons, combat vehicles, artillery, active protection systems and the integration of unmanned aerial systems on combat vehicles and with dismounted formations.
The Raytheon Company and Swedish aerospace and defense firm Saab are developing a guided munition for the Carl-Gustaf man-portable, shoulder-launched weapon system under a U.S. Army contract. The munition answers a U.S. Special Operations Command requirement to increase the capability of the multirole Carl-Gustaf weapon system. It is intended to enable ground troops to engage multiple targets precisely at distances up to 2,000 meters, including moving targets.
Laser beams are used for numerous applications and when associated with unmanned aerial systems are most likely used as drone killers. But under a new research supported by the US Defense Advanced Programs Research Agency (DARPA), lasers are used as a consistent power source for drones. DARPA plans to demonstrate this capability under the Stand-off Ubiquitous Power/Energy Replenishment - Power Beaming Demo (SUPER PBD), which will extend the mission of a Silent Falcon solar electric UAS using laser power.
Several contracts awarded recently marked significant progress in DARPA's Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program with field demonstrations of projects developed by teams and companies...
As robotic machines become intelligent and autonomous, human-machine and machine-machine teaming (MUMT and Swarms) will become the norm in military operations - a trend that military planners already address in their forecast, research and development roadmaps.
DARPA has selected the Boeing Company to complete advanced design work for the Agency’s Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program, which aims to build and fly the first of an entirely new class of hypersonic, suborbital aircraft that would provide short-notice, low-cost access to space.
DARPA has recently moved to phase 2 of the Gremlins program which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs) that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. DARPA selected two teams - one led by Dynetics, the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), to complete preliminary designs full-scale technology demonstration systems, as well as develop and perform risk-reduction tests of individual system components.
Vanilla Aircraft VA001 has set an endurance record for 50 kg-500 kg subclass drones, flying a 56-hour mission without refueling the diesel-powered drone, demonstrated the feasibility of designing a low-cost UAV able to take off from one side of a continent, fly to the other, perform its duties for a week, and come back - all on the same tank of fuel.
With progress made with the fabrication of the first flight demonstrator of the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) program DARPA has funded a second TERN technology demonstrator. Tern is currently scheduled to start integrated propulsion system testing in the first part of 2017, move to ground-based testing in early 2018, and culminate in a series of at-sea flight tests in late 2018.
Seeking to increase the combat power of small dismounted teams, DARPA is studying the Massive Overmatch Assault Round (MOAR) as a way to enhance current man-portable infantry weapon systems with compact, multi-function precision engagement munitions. While some manufacturers address these capabilities with dedicated weapon systems, Saab is exploring enhancement for its proven M4 and AT4 weapon systems, to meet MOAR goals.
The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) selected Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as the prime contractors for the agency's Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) demonstration. The program seeks to help conduct dynamic Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) operations over long distances, against short lived, moving targets in denied or contested electromagnetic airspace.
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded technology research contracts to eight companies under the agency's Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program,...
The US Air Force and DARPA are looking at new concepts of operations that will enable unmanned platforms to support the future air component in all operational environments