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29 Oct 07. India Seeks Micro UAVs. The Indian Army is on a global hunt to buy unspecified numbers of micro UAVs to fly surveillance missions in the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and for anti-insurgency operations in the country’s northeast. Bids have been sent to companies that make the Bird Eye (Israel Aerospace Industries), FanTail (Singapore Technologies Aerospace), Raven (U.S. firm AeroVironment), Skylark (Israel’s Elbit) and Tracker (Europe’s EADS).
A senior Army official said the service will need more than 200 UAVs in the next three to five years, with the requirement increasing as more urban areas are put under surveillance. The micro UAVs are a priority procurement for the Army and could be inducted into service by mid-2008. The Army has specified no numbers in the bid, but service sources said the order could increase depending on the UAV’s performance as funds are available. The global bids, sent early this month, stipulate that the micro UAV selected should be able to:
å Perform reconnaissance and surveillance over mountains, day and night, and
immediately transmit data to operators by voice and video.
å Identify and detect targets.
å Do surveillance of rural and urban areas where insurgents operate.
å Assess post-strike damages.
The micro UAV also must weigh no more than 40 kilograms; be easy to assemble; have a low-noise engine, fixed or rotary wings and a low heat signature; and be able to avoid enemy detection and engagement. The system’s ground control station should be a portable laptop that can display video and flight data on a digital map background and control the UAV in flight. Also, the UAV should be capable of performing a preprogrammed flight when navigation way points are fed into the computer. A crew of two should be able to set up and operate the UAV and perform the launch mission in 15 minutes. It should resist electronic countermeasures. (Source: Defense News)

Oct 07. Members of FAC, the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium will beheading West next month across the Atlantic to North East Canada as part of an international trade mission to promote UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), a growing area of the UK Aerospace and Defence Market. The trip comes as result of an invitation by the Atlantic Alliance of Aerospace & Defence Associations (AAADA) based in Nova Scotia, Canada. AAADA is the trade association representing the Aerospace and Defence industries in Canada and North East America with members including Raytheon, Sikorsky and Pratt & Witney. The main objective of the trip has been to invite a select group of FAC members to explore business opportunities. Eight members including QinetiQ, Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems and VTOL Technologies will be heading out to Canada on 2 November for a week long tour of AAADA member companies as well as face to face meetings. Leading the team from FAC will be Guy Horsley, UAV Sector Leader and MARVIN Facilitator who has been fundamental to the growth of this specialist sub-group within FAC over the last three years. Commenting on the trip, Guy said, “We were approached earlier this year as result of discussions between AAADA and SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency with regard to organising a trip to meet with UAV specialists in Canada. Our members will be attending a variety of meetings across the area including attending Canada’s leading conference on Unmanned Vehicle Systems towards the end of the week. We hope that this will be a knowledge sharing exercise as well as generating real business for our members and the Canadian companies we will be meeting.

25 Oct 07. U.S. Stops Robot Work After Trade-Secrets Suit. The U.S. Army has temporarily stopped a $280m contract given to Alsip, Ill.-based Robotic Fx to build up to 3,000 bomb-clearing combat robots after rival robot-maker iRobot filed two lawsuits and protested the award with the Government Accountability Office, claiming Robotic Fx stole patente

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