UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
30 Jul 08. The Air Force is modifying a fixed price incentive firm contract with Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems, of San Diego, Calif., not to exceed $324,600,000. This contract will provide 2 RQ-4B Block 301 Global Hawk Air Vehicles, 3 RQ-4B Block 40 Air Vehicles with MP-RTIP sensor, one Mission Element, one Launch and Recovery Element, and associated equipment; option for four EISS sensor payloads. At this time $180,351,181 has been obligated. 303 AESG/PK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-07-C-4015 P00008).
22 Jul 08. The U.S. Navy’s RQ-4 Block 10 Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD) unmanned aircraft system demonstrated its flexibility and persistence by providing critically needed imagery to firefighters during the recent Northern California wildfires. Built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), GHMD flew more than 23 hours June 27-28 and collected more than 500 images for local fire officials.
28 Jul 08. Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Office of Naval Research to develop and demonstrate a signals intelligence (SIGINT) payload for use on a UAV under the Warfighter’s Tactical SIGINT Resource (WTSR) program.
Jul 08. South Korea’s air force has decided that building future-generation stealth manned combat aircraft to replace the current fleet is economically unfeasible and instead has decided to focus on developing a combination of unmanned and manned craft to fulfill future military needs along with foreign partners. “We need a new paradigm of developing and operating both manned and unmanned aircraft suited to future warfare,” says Brig. Gen. Lee Hee-woo, head of the force’s combat power development bureau. “Once unmanned fighter aircraft share missions of manned aircraft, we would not feel any need for full stealth fighters.” Under the vision, UAVs will perform long-endurance surveillance and enemy suppression missions while manned fighters control the unmanned fleet from a low-risk environment, conducting precision strikes when needed. “In general, developing unmanned stealth aircraft is easier than doing manned stealth fighters, which means we can secure economic feasibility,” says Lee. “I believe, in that context, economic efficiency would further increase when we design and develop both manned and unmanned aircraft, and their key systems, including communications systems and data links.” (Source: Korea Times/AUVSI)