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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

29 Nov 07. Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing Australia will develop a special version of their I-View 250 unmanned air vehicle to supply two tactical unmanned systems to the Australian Army in the second half of next year. According to the Australian Department of Defence, each TUAV system will comprise four UAVs, as well as ground control stations and support equipment.
Australia will have a further four UAVs as spares to support the planned 12-year life span for the system. This will enable 24h surveillance for the protection of Australian forces and identification of enemy targets to a range of 150km (80nm). But, says the department: “As the I-View 250 is a prototype system, the final specification is expected to require some physical changes to the current system.” Australia’s I-Views will feature electro-optic and infrared cameras and a laser target designator. The I-View 250 has a maximum take-off weight of 250kg
(550lb), an endurance of 6-8h and a wingspan of 6.7m (22ft). It has a fully
automatic take-off and landing system, with the system’s catapult launcher and
unique parafoil landing concept allowing it to be deployed and recovered from an
area smaller than a football field, says the DoD. The UAVs will be operated by a newly formed part of an existing unit, the 20 Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment based at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, Queensland, which is responsible for the provision of specialist surveillance and target acquisition to the Australian Army. Australia ordered the I-View 250 under its Joint Project 129 in late 2006. IAI teamed with prime contractor Boeing Australia, with the latter’s responsibilities including integration and in-service support. (Source: Flight International)

28 Nov 07. Protonex Technology Corporation announced that the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and development partner AeroVironment have documented a successful, record flight on a small, UAV utilizing a highly advanced fuel cell system from Protonex. AeroVironment’s “Puma” UAV system flew continuously for over seven hours and was powered by the latest generation of ProtonexÂ’ ProCore TM UAV fuel cell system. The duration of this most recent demonstration flight represents a substantial increase in flight time for this class of small UAV. The standard Puma has a reported flight time of approximately 2 hours on rechargeable batteries, while other electric UAVs used by the military have flight times ranging from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. The 7+ hour duration of the Puma flight using Protonex fuel cell power far surpasses the longest previous Puma flight achieved by AeroVironment using any technology. (Source: Shephard)

Nov 07. Guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), completed a robust testing phase of the ScanEagle, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Nov. 17, en route to the Central Command area of operations as part of the ongoing rotation to support Maritime Security Operations. This is an unprecedented employment of a UAV aboard a multi-mission (anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare) surface combatant. Oscar Austin is an element of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG). (Source: Shephard)

Nov 07. Teal Group Predicts Worldwide UAV Market Will Reach Nearly $55bn. UAVs are the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry, report Teal analysts in their latest integrated market analysis. Teal Group’s 2008 market study estimates that UAV spending will more than double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $3.4bn annually to $7.3bn within a decade, totaling close to $55bn in the next ten years.

Nov 07. Hydroid, LLC, has won a contract for one custom configured REMUS 100 from the Royal Norwegian Navy. This contract marks Hydroid’s fifth international deal this year and builds on its continuing commitment to European clients.Hydroid’s REMUS AUVs can be fitted

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