UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
16 Jan 08. BAE Systems of Bellevue, Neb., is being awarded a contract for $42.5m. This action will provide for Air Vehicle Planning Software (APS), which will provide automated planning systems for manned and unmanned air vehicles that includes dual capable aircraft, reconnaissance air vehicles, cruise missiles, and air refueling support aircraft. It’s a full fidelity force-level mission planning system that provides the capability to create plans, reports, and mission management functions supporting the nation’s nuclear and non-nuclear operational planning. At this time $265,105 has been obligated. 55 CONS, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (FA4600-08-D-0001).
16 Jan 08. BAE Systems has delivered five target detection systems to the U.S. Army for use on Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The AURORA Generation IV remote sensing system will provide U.S. forces with precise detection and identification of potential threats, increasing mission capability and survivability. AURORA is an ultra-lightweight, compact, wide-area surveillance system. It combines daytime hyperspectral imaging technology, featuring high-resolution electro-optic sensors, with an airborne processing system to automatically detect and identify targets. The system is designed to meet tactical needs of unmanned aircraft with highly efficient onboard processing that minimizes bandwidth requirements. AURORA has a real-time processing capability to search for targets and immediately downlink location results to ground operators for rapid delivery into intelligence databases.
15 Jan 08. BAE Systems has demonstrated an upgraded airborne reconnaissance system capable of transmitting and receiving data over long distances. The new technology allows real-time analysis of image data by U.S. Air Force image analysts. BAE Systems, working under an $11.5m Air Force contract with industry partners and the Air National Guard, incorporated and demonstrated the long-range data link capability to its Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System (TARS), a high-resolution, medium-altitude surveillance system. The data link capability provides real- and near-real-time transmission of images from TARS to a surface terminal, or to any other compatible ground-based receiving equipment. System upgrades were tested, qualified, and demonstrated during performance and aircraft integration testing on F-16s at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The TARS data link equipment pod met all Air Force requirements for aircraft operations, imagery collection, carriage and handling, and safety of flight. The systems were then returned to field service in Iraq, where they are used on F-16s for medium-altitude battlefield surveillance. The replacement of a tape recorder with a solid-state recorder is another significant system enhancement. Following a mission, the recorder’s removable memory module can be taken from the pod and its image information then read, displayed, and archived. The Air National Guard has used TARS-equipped F-16s in peacetime and in wartime for the past decade. In peacetime, TARS gives the Guard the ability to closely monitor U.S. borders and surrounding seacoast areas for activities such as smuggling, illegal immigration, and terrorist activities.
16 Jan 08. General Atomics of San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract for $16,190,443. This action will provide for manufacture, test, and delivery of one MQ-9 Reaper Weaponized Aircraft, along with containers, a 30-day pack-up kit and initial spares. At this time $12,142,832 has been obligated. 658th AESS/PK (Predator Contracting Group), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3028-0041).
15 Jan 08. Allen-Vanguard is introducing a digital version of its mini ROV, the Vanguard™, to the Indian defence industry at Defexpo 2008. Delegates will be able to experience first hand the combined touch screen and hard