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08 Jan 08. The European Defence Agency awarded a contract worth €500,000 with a consortium of defence and aerospace companies to develop a detailed roadmap for integrating UAVs into European airspace so that they can fly routinely with other air traffic by the end of 2015 at the latest. The contract was awarded to the Air4All consortium, consisting of BAE Systems with BAE Systems Operations Platform Solutions, Alenia Aeronautica, Dassault Aviation, Diehl BGT Defence, EADS CASA, EADS Defence & Security Germany, Galileo Avionica, QinetiQ, Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, SAAB AB, Sagem Defence Systems and Thales Aerospace as Co-contractors. The project will help European stakeholders such as airworthiness authorities, air traffic management bodies, procurement agencies, industry and research institutes to develop a joint agenda for common European UAV activities, leading to specific projects addressing security and commercial — as well as defence — uses of UAVs. (Source: Shephard)

10 Jan 08. MTC Technologies, Inc. has entered into a cancellation agreement with the United States Marine Corps Systems Command (the USMC) relating
to the Tier II Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Concept Demonstrator System. Under the agreement, MTC will return all performance-based payments in the aggregate amount of approximately $683,000 and pay approximately $474,000 for program costs to the USMC. As a result of the agreement, MTC expects to incur a one-time charge of approximately $6.7m in the fourth quarter of 2007. The Company were apprised of this matter during the diligence process and prior to the signing of the merger agreement with BAE Systems announced on December 21, 2007. (Source: Shephard)

10 Jan 08. Thales has signed an agreement with the General Directorate for Enterprises (DGE) in France for the development of a fully autonomous underwater vehicle(AUV) dedicated to maritime surveillance and security. The Asemar project involves industry partners Thales, ECA and IXSEA and the research laboratories of Ensieta, Ecole Navale, ISEN and UBO. Thales is responsible for overall project coordination and system deployment. The company will also supply a next-generation high-resolution side-scan sonar with synthetic-aperture array. (Source: The Engineer Online)

Jan 08. Israel is developing an AWACS (Airborne Early Warning Aircraft) UAV on a Gulfstream G500 business jet platform. The plane, dubbed the G550, will be equipped with the Israeli Phalcon radar system and satellite data links. Ground-based personnel will operate all equipment onboard. The aircraft will come equipped with automated flight controls. Flight Control Systems have been developed that can land and fly commercial aircraft to their destination automatically. Global Hawk, the largest UAV in service, already has automated landing, flight and take-off systems. The ground operator just manoeuvres the UAV around on the ground, before takeoff and after landing. The Gulfstream 550 UAV would use such flight control software. The addition of cameras in the cockpit would enable ground operators to see what pilots normally did. (Source: Shephard)

09 Jan 08. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Incand SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A., a leading Spanish engineering, consulting and systems integration company, announced that they have signed a teaming agreement that promotes use of the Predator® UAS series to support Spain’s airborne surveillance and reconnaissance requirements. The combined capabilities of GA-ASI and SENER create a winning team uniquely positioned to provide Spain with a superior management, technical, and cost-effective response to satisfy the nation’s domestic and international reconnaissance requirements for Defense and Security. The Predator series of unmanned aircraft provides persistent situational awareness. The aircraft have long demonstrated unmatched capabilities in safeguarding national borders and maritime approaches

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