UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
12 Sep 07. UK plans to increase use of Hermes 450 UAV. The British Army is set to increase the operational tempo of its Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Afghanistan and Iraq after completing more than 1,000 flying hours since deployment in July. As part of an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) issued in June to supply UK forces on operations with force protection and intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities. (Source: Jane’s)
01 Oct 07. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Sierra Vista, Ariz., was awarded on Sept. 28, 2007, a $22,499,406 modification cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Hunter Green Dart. Work will be performed in Sierra Vista, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by July 31, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This was a sole source contract initiated on Aug. 31, 2007. The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-04-C-0082).
01 Oct 07. General Atomics of San Diego, Calif. is being awarded a contract for $15,180,780. This action provides for retrofit 20 each Predator blocks 5 to block 15; retrofit 1 each block 10 to 15; and non-recurring engineering associated with the retrofit of the block 10 to block 15. At this time all funds have been obligated. For more information please call (937) 904-6986. 658 AESS/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3028/0013).
01 Oct 07. General Atomics of San Diego, Calif. is being awarded a contract modification for $21,914,173. This action will provide for organizational maintenance support for the Predator MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft systems at Creech AFB, NV and deployed sites worldwide. This support includes aircrew duties/responsibilities, maintaining equipment in accordance with approved applicable AF technical engineering data, quality assurance, parts/supplies ordering and accountable and flying and maintenance schedule development. The Predator MQ-9 program was designed in response to DoD requirements to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to the warfighter, and its mission is interdiction and armed reconnaissance against critical perishable targets. At this time all funds have been obligated. For more information please call (757) 764-9126. ACC AMIC/PKC, Newport News, Va. is the contracting activity (FA4890-07-C-0009-P00006).
02 Oct 07. Three U.S. Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles are executing missions over Iraq and Afghanistan with about 500 flight hr. per month, says Bill Walker, a business development executive for prime contractor Northrop Grumman. On-the-ground turnaround time is about 4 hr. So far, the company has delivered four Block 20 aircraft, which have a larger wing and more onboard power. Two more are slated for delivery this month. Deliveries of the first Block 30 aircraft, which will be able to carry a new signals intelligence payload, are slated for the end of the year, with operational test and evaluation to start in 2008. The pace of flight tests at Beale AFB, Calif., where USAF conducts training missions, continues to be slow as the service and FAA work through processes to integrate Global Hawk into unrestricted air space. (Source: Aviation Week)
24 Sep 07. New munitions are being developed solely for unmanned air vehicles under the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems initiative. A version of the Army’s General Atomics Warrior might be the first to benefit from the effort. Up to now, military UAVs in the United States have relied on inventory weapons such as the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire and Northrop Grumman Viper Strike. But a newly developed line of munitions would feature standardized propulsion and interchangeable warheads in response to moving and nonmoving targets. Each munition will be approximately 18 inches (45 cm) long and weigh about 2 pounds (