12 Jan 05. Rheinmetall Defence Electronics plans to market its new unmanned aerial vehicle to Gulf Cooperation Council members. The leading German defense firm plans to brief Gulf Arab and other potential clients on a new micro UAV for tactical military and homeland security operations. The company developed the UAV with the Technical University of Braunschweig and conducted trials along the German border with the Netherlands. Executives said the UAV was being considered for presentation at the IDEX defense show in Abu Dhabi in February 2005. They said the UAV could fulfill a range of tactical missions, including over-the-hill reconnaissance and urban warfare. The platform, dubbed Carola P50 and termed a micro aerial vehicle, flies autonomously with the assistance of a satellite. The platform, with a 49-centimeter wingspan, can fit into a backpack.
Jan 05. Italy To Send New Predators to Iraq. Weeks after taking delivery of four new Predator UAVs, the Italian Air Force this month will deploy some or all of them to Iraq, in time to monitor security during elections in the country. Predators were being prepared at their base at Amendola in southern Italy for departure to Italy’s area of operations in southern Iraq, an Italian military spokesman said Jan. 11. The UAVs became operational at Amendola at the end of December.
13 Jan 05. AAI Corporation has received its third consecutive full-rate production contract from the U.S. Army for Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) systems. Valued at $71.9m, the fully funded new contract exercises options for the production of eight additional TUAV systems, including ground control stations, maintenance equipment, and spare components, to be delivered over the next 20 months. Each Shadow TUAV system consists of four air vehicles and two ground control stations. This order for eight systems calls for the production of 32 RQ-7B Shadow TUAV air vehicles, 16 ground control stations, and associated components and support equipment. The work will be performed at AAI’s manufacturing facility in Hunt Valley, Md.