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Two leading manufacturers of remotely piloted aircraft systems are nearing the goal of certifying unmanned aerial systems (UAV) for operation in the same airspace with manned aircraft, thus removing a major barrier to entry for drones that restricted the operation of large drones over the populated areas in Europe, Canada, and the USA. Elbit Systems of Israel and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. are the two forerunners in this field, followed by IAI and Northrop Grumman.
A new market study predicts $100 billion in military spending on UAS research, development, procurement and payloads. With classified programs making about a third of the volume, unmanned system operations are becoming more substantial than ever before.
OUTRIDER, a miniature, expendable drone launched from submarines while underwater at periscope depth was unveiled today by Lockheed Martin. The drone was developed in the UK and is being evaluated by potential customers.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon a $90 million first-lot production contract for the next-generation Multi-Spectral Targeting System. As the latest variant of the MTS family of sensors, AN/DAS-4 incorporates greater fire control and Target Location Accuracy technology for precise coordinates.
A specialized unit dedicated to detecting and dealing with small unmanned aircraft has been set up within the People's Liberation Army Air Force. The unit performs drills against a squadron equipped with multiple types of drones to simulate reconnaissance, infiltration or strike operations.
Following the sale of Rafale fighter jets, FREMM frigate and possibly, the Mistral helicopter carrier built for the Russian Navy, France is offering Egypt its latest UAV - the Patroller.
Thales is introducing an export variant of its Watchkeeper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), originally developed for the UK. The first export contract being pursued by the company is Poland, seeking a UAV solution for its military forces.
Spain has decided to buy four Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drones for its air force. According to the Ministry of Defense announcement made on thursday in Madrid, the Government allocated €25 million ($27 million) in the 2016 budget to fund the acquisition of the first system. Both US madse MQ-9 and Israeli Heron TP are considered.
In response to a critical shortage of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots, the U.S. Air Force is investing more than $100 million to buy more ground control stations, simulators and contract instructors. The service will be placing some newly minted pilots in RPA squadrons beginning in August and is offering bonuses of up to $15,000 per year for RPA pilots, beginning in fiscal year 2016.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Thales have conducted risk reduction flight tests for the integration of Thales and Elisra’s NATO STANAG 7085 data link on board the Heron Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV).
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has been exploring the tactical reconnaissance vehicle (TRV) concept for nearly nine months and is evaluating the hoverbike technology as a way to get Soldiers away from ground threats by giving them a 3-D mobility capability. The Army considers this disruptive technology for its potential to increase Soldier protection at the squad level and below.
The Centaur optionally piloted aircraft (OPA) has flown multiple unmanned flights over the State of New York, operating from Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York during the past month. The flights marked the first time any large-scale, fixed-wing aircraft has flown at either of six FAA-designated unmanned aircraft test sites in the U.S.
Addressing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) market demands with new systems and capabilities Israel is displaying a wide range of UAS at the Paris Air Show 2015
Schiebel continues to expand the sensor suits carried on its Camcopter S-100 unmanned small rotorcraft. In a recent demonstration the company has flown EO, SAR and ESM sensors on a single platform, addressing a requirement from the Australian Navy. In the next months it will also test a new HF-COMINT sensor expanding naval surveillance capabilities of naval forces.