UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
01 Apr 08. Robonic, the Sagem-owned, Finland-based UAV subsidiary, has obtained a contract to deliver a third-generation UAV launcher system to the Finnish
Armed Forces (FAF). The dual-role system will support the launch of aerial targets by the Finnish Air Force, in addition to launching the Finnish Army’s Ranger system. The contract value was not disclosed. The Robonic delivery marks the first time a Robonic UAV system has been optimized for dual-role operations to meet differing user needs by armed forces. The company, which was acquired by France’s Sagem group in 2007, has already delivered target and Ranger launchers to the FAF. Robonic produces a complete product range for UAVs with launch weights from 50 to 500 kilograms, and up to a maximum launching power of 8,500 kilowatts, with its launcher systems using both tactical UAVs and target drones. (Source: Defense News)
27 Mar 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a contract from the U.S. Army to provide soldiers with additional SCORPION(tm) unattended ground sensor (UGS) system spares and technical support. The primary function of the SCORPION(tm) system is to provide long and short range target recognition for situational awareness, border and perimeter security and persistent surveillance. The contract, valued at $2.4m, is a follow-on contract to the recently completed CENTCOM UGS program for which Northrop Grumman delivered over 600 SCORPION(tm) systems to the U.S. Army and over 900 worldwide. Work on this current contract will be performed at the Northrop Grumman Xetron facility in Cincinnati. (Source: ASD Network)
25 Mar 08. Phoenix Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV): Out of Service. The MoD announced (25 Mar 08) that the Phoenix UAV was to go out of service on 31 Mar 08, to be replaced by the Watchkeeper system in 2010. Hermes 450 UAV are now being used in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Comment: 32 Regiment, Royal Artillery, is the Army’s tactical UAV Regiment. On 17 Jul 06 the Armed Forces’ Minister said that Phoenix had cost approximately £345m since inception and on 6 Dec 06 he said that 73 of the UAV remained in service. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0813, 31 Mar 08)
02 Apr 08. Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems of San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a contract for $10,000,000. This effort is for Lot 8 advance purchase items for: two Block RQ-4 Air Vehicles; three Block 40 Air Vehicles (AV); four Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensors; four Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suites (EISS); Mission Control Element (MCE) One Launch Recovery Element (LRE). At this time $10,000,000 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-08-C-3001).