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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

28 Jan 08. The WD100 unmanned helicopter, researched and developed by He Xiang Aviation Technology Co., Ltd., completed an automatic landing flight in Anyang, Henan Province on January 27. (Source: Shephard)

28 Jan 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system program finished 2007 on a high note, exceeding its previous record by delivering five production aircraft to the U.S. Air Force. (Source: Shephard)

Jan 08. DRDO developing unmanned underwater vehicle Chennai (PTI): The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing a unmanned underwater vehicle, which could defuse mines in the sea and attack enemy submarines, DRDO chief A Sivathanu Pillai said here on Monday. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a science exhibition, he said the DRDO had already provided a UAV to the Indian Air Force. It had now decided to develop an unmanned underwater vehicle, which would be of immense use to the Indian Navy during wars. (Source: The Hindu News Update Service/Shephard)

22 Jan 08. Provincial Aerospace Ltd (PAL) is pleased to announce that their research partner Memorial University’s RAVEN Project has received $3m in funding from the Atlantic Innovation Fund. The funding is to support RAVEN II, a four year research and development program aimed at the integration of small UAVs into non segregated airspace. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are a growth area for commercial aviation. However, at the present time most small UAV’s are blind, that is, they have no way of “seeing” what, if anything, might be in front of them. This single issue is the largest impediment to routine UAV flights in domestic airspace.

23 Jan 08. BBC MONITORING INTERNATIONAL REPORTS. Text of report by Polish privately-owned independent newspaper Rzeczpospolita website, on 22 January[Report by Edyta Zemla: “Expensive Little Planes”] We will not be purchasing a set of US-made Shadow 200 unmanned aircraft — Rzeczpospolita has learned. The reason? The price is too high. The United States
is demanding more than $40m. Several years ago, Poland began efforts to obtain the Shadow 200 system from the United States, used to gather information from enemy territory. Three unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV], a ground-based station, a launcher, and vehicles were meant to be received by our country under what is called Foreign Military Financing (FMF), financial aid for allies. However, we may abandon plans to obtain the system. Rzeczpospolita has obtained information about the status of Polish-US negotiations, which the General Staff sent to the Defense Minister. Judging by what is in these documents, the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Analysis Directorate feels that the price the Americans have proposed for one UAV set is “greatly overstated.” The document states that the Americans evaluated the price of a single set at $40-45m. Experts maintain that the US Army purchases such unmanned aerial vehicles sets for itself for some $14m, although that is presumably a price that does not include all of the elements specified by Poland. Moreover, when we began seeking to obtain the system several years ago, we were supposed to pay some $55m for two sets. (Source: Shephard/Hoovers)

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