07 Feb 08. AeroVironment, Inc. announced that the U.S. Army has ordered additional RQ-11B (Raven) small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and associated services by the exercise of an option under an existing contract. Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, a ground control station, system spares, and related services. The total award value is $45.8m and is fully funded. The option was submitted under the existing U.S. Army joint small UAS program of record for AV’s Raven and will provide systems for the Army and Marine Corps. This program allows for contract additions from the Army, Special Operations Command and other U.S. military services. The items provided under this one-year option on the multi-year contract are scheduled to be delivered within one year of the contract award date.
12 Feb 08. LCS Delays Could Send Fire Scout UAVs to Other Warships. If the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships are delayed, the service may debut the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned rotorcraft “on another air-capable ship,” said William Balderson, the service’s program executive officer for air programs. That “would allow us to not delay the Fire Scout even if LCS slips” and would also allow the service to begin integrating the vertical-takeoff UAV onto a working ship, driving down “integration risk” when it moves to the littoral ships, he said. That plan, however, is still “pre-decisional,” as PEO aviation officials and Fleet Forces Command mull other ways they might deal with LCS delays, Balderson said Feb. 12 at an Aviation Week-sponsored conference in Washington. The Navy recently canceled the third and fourth ships of the program – one each of separate designs being built by prime contractors Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. And the 2009 defense spending plan sent to Capitol Hill last week showed major changes, including buying four fewer ships than the six initially planned in 2009, alterations spurred by soaring costs.
12 Feb 08. Indian Navy and HAL Developing New Generation UAV. The Indian Navy is working on a ‘path breaking’ project to develop a new generation and longer-endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to have deeper penetration in data collection and reconnaissance mechanism. (Source: DACIS: Newswire)
11 Feb 08. Boeing Australia Limited and Insitu, Inc.’s ScanEagle UAV has successfully delivered 10,000 surveillance and reconnaissance flight hours to help protect Australian troops on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Boeing Australia Limited President David Withers congratulated the ScanEagle team on its exemplary performance during a recent ceremony. “ScanEagle is an excellent UAV platform, Boeing Australia Limited delivers vital ground support services, the Australian Army drives the ongoing successful delivery of the program, and the winners are our fellow Australians who put their lives on the line every day to protect our way of life,” noted Withers.
08 Feb 08. If the Canadian Forces have their way, the Sperwer Drone will be replaced with a more advanced model within 14 months. The Defence Department is fast-tracking a plan to lease aerial drones for Afghanistan, promising to get the aircraft delivered within 10 to 14 months. But some defence industry officials estimate the price tag for the project could be as high as $120m, almost the same cost as purchasing the unmanned aerial vehicles outright. Industry officials instead are suggesting the government just go ahead with buying the UAVs. Defence Department spokesperson Krista Hannivan said particulars about the cost of the project aren’t being released until the full details about what is needed are outlined in a request for proposals issued to the aerospace industry. But she noted the department is sticking with the plan to lease the surveillance drones for a three-year period instead of purchasing them outright. The department intends on moving quickly on the lease and has set up an “aggressive timetable,” she added. The re