19 Jun 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s(NYSE: NOC) Integrated Systems sector has achieved another first for the U.S. Navy’s RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing tactical UAV system. During a recent flight test, Fire Scout autonomously returned to a predetermined spot, landed and shut itself down after communications links between the air vehicle and its ground control station (GCS) were purposely shut off. The maneuver was performed June 10 during an autonomous mission at Webster Field near Patuxent River, Md. There was no communication between the air vehicle and the GCS at any time during the recovery.
19 Jun 03. U.S. lawmakers said they would start next week what could be a long, rocky review of Boeing Co.’s proposed $16bn lease of refuelling tankers to the U.S. Air Force. A panel of the House Armed Services Committee said it would kick off oversight hearings Tuesday on the aerial tanker lease, which would be the first of its kind for a major weapons system. The hearing will take place in the Projection Forces subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican.
20 Jun 03. Dassault Aviation is linking up with Russia’s Sukhoi Corp. to study joint projects, including UAVs, Dassault said the two companies will set up a common working group, and said the cooperation could extend to the civil aircraft market, including supersonic business jets.