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15 Jun 04. Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully demonstrated a shipboard mission control system that will allow unmanned combat aerial vehicles to participate safely and autonomously in conventional manned, aircraft-carrier flight operations. The mission control system allows an operator of a UAV to change the mission plan of the vehicle in flight in response to new air traffic control requirements, system failures or changes in enemy activity. The demonstration occurred Feb. 23-29 on the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier stationed off the East Coast of the United States. It was conducted as part of Northrop Grumman’s work on the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) program. The J-UCAS program is an effort by DARPA, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy to develop a new fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can perform combat missions for both services. Northrop Grumman is currently producing two X-47B demonstrator UAVs for the J-UCAS program.
11 Jun 04. Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully conducted the first flight test of a new, fourth-generation variant of the AN/APG-77 active electronically scanned array radar for the U.S. Air Force’s F/A-22 Raptor. The new design is intended to reduce the production and maintenance costs of the Raptor’s third-generation radar by adapting the design that was implemented successfully in the AN/APG-81 radar for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the AN/APG-80 for the Block 60 F-16 fighter. This newest variant requires significantly fewer parts than the third-generation, and the production line relies on a greater degree of automation.
Jun 04. Thales e-Security will for the first time be participating in JWID 04. Thales will be at the event to display its UK-developed technology for dynamically securing ad hoc networks between security domains. Thales’ demonstration will show the use of soft-loaded IP cryptographic devices – the Datacryptor 2000 series – which when necessary are able to have their algorithms updated remotely. This is done through an on-demand secure IP communications service provisioning scheme which is controlled by a policy-based management system, allowing the specific parameters of the secure connection to be set extremely quickly. Therefore when secure communications need to be established with another party – for example linking a military system into those associated with homeland defence such as police – this can be done very simply without any new equipment or components having to be used.
14 Jun 04. ITT Defence (UK) Ltd has developed a new radio controller head for the aircraft without a 1553 databus. The system will be fitted to 2-300 RAF aircraft as part of the BOWMAN airborne radio requirement. The company sees a large overseas export market for the product.
14 Jun 04. The latest High Mobility Ground Refueller (HMGR) developed by FPT Industries) in cooperation with Supacat Ltd, allows large quantities of fuel to be delivered rapidly in to Forward Area Refuelling (FAR) points. The HMGR will travel over almost any terrain to service the demands of the modern battlefield attack helicopter. The HMGR provides a dedicated aircraft servicing and refuelling module compatible with Supacat’s HMT. The HMGR will transport up to 5000 litres of fuel through almost any terrain and provides a complete ground support capability, including fuel delivery, filtration and additive mixing, in a single unit. The re-fuelling module can draw and treat additional fuel capacity from other sources of supply including Air Portable Fuel Cells (APFC) and is easily and quickly self loaded and removed from the HMT, leaving the vehicle free to fulfill a range of roles. Once equipped with the re-fuelling module, the HMGR can be transported into the battlefield inside a C-130 or C-17 transport aircraft. Alternatively it may be underslung beneath, or carried internally with