07 Nov 05. EADS Military Aircraft has just staged the successful first flight of the high-speed UAV demonstrator CARAPAS (CApacité drone RAPide AntileurreS) at the Biscarrosse missile test centre (CELM) in France. The aim of the flight was to check the system functions, the operating procedures and the technical installations at CELM. This marks the start of a flight test campaign scheduled to last until the end of 2005.
08 Nov 05. InRob Ltd. announced the successful completion of a unique remote-controlled moving tank target system contracted by the Turkish Government.
05 Nov 05. Elbit Systems Ltd. reported that its Skylark mini-UAV has been selected for rapid deployment by the Australian Army. Elbit Systems will deliver 6 systems to the Australian Ground Forces.
29 Oct 05. Meet the Snark – an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle of immense capability that demonstrates just how far the breed has come in such a short period of time. Constructed mainly of Carbon Fibre and Kevlar, the Snark is light and fast (280 km/h), quiet (special rotor blades make it extremely quiet , virtually invisible to radar or infrared detetection (it recycles its exhaust gases and emits little heat) and can carry a payload of 680kg, offering the ability to pack both massive firepower (enough to sink a ship) and surveillance equipment (such as high res infrared cameras with a magnification of 7500). But wait, there’s more, and this is the clincher. The Snark is the first UAV that runs on diesel fuel, which means it can be easily integrated into any military force – current UAVs require their own special fuel supply to be transported with them whereas the entire US Army plans to run on a single one fuel – diesel. Last and probably most importantly, the Snark can stay airborne for 24 hours at a time, offering an unprecedented loiter time for a machine of this capability.
The Snark is built by New Zealand-based commercial helicopter manufacturer TGR Helicorp and seems likely to put the staunchly independent country on the armaments industry map in a big way as it offers capabilities far beyond any current VTOL UAV.
Oct 05. Australian UAVs To Be Deployed To Iraq. Miniature UAVs will be deployed to Iraq to provide increased protection for Australian Defence Force soldiers and will be a new ally in operational missions in the southern Al Muthanna province. Defence Minister Robert Hill said four Skylark miniature UAVs will be deployed to assist the second rotation of the Al Muthanna Task Group (AMTG). A further two UAVs will remain in Australia for training and preparation purposes.
“The miniature UAVs will be used on reconnaissance and surveillance missions, and provide real-time information about the terrain and activities in an area,” Senator Hill said. “This will increase our troop’s understanding of the Al Muthanna area, and increase their ability to respond to identified threats. “The UAVs that will deploy with the AMTG are a miniature, lightweight and portable system that is easy to recover and relaunch.” Senator Hill said the Government was investing more and more on research and development of unmanned vehicle technology for use in future operations and for surveillance purposes.
07 Nov 05. The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract to begin production of the next five RQ-4B Global Hawk aerial reconnaissance systems. The new $60m contract will allow the company to start purchasing long-lead parts for the unmanned air vehicles, the enhanced integrated sensor suites for four of the air vehicles, one mission-control element, and one launch-and-recovery element.
08 Nov 05. Singapore is looking to buy at least two mini unmanned surveillance aircraft. The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), the city-state’s procurement arm, confirmed with AFP it had made enquiries with suppliers about the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) but gave no further details. According to a Straits Times newspaper report, the D