UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
02 Dec 08. QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group has been awarded a total of $58.5m in funding for additional TALON robots and replacement parts. The total represents awards from the US Army and Navy made during the six-month period 1 May to 1 November 2008. The new delivery orders include $48 million against the new $400m IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) contract awarded last May by the Robotic Systems Joint Program Office (RSJPO) administered by the Program Executive Office – Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO-STRI) and $10.5m against the $295m IDIQ awarded by the Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NAVEODTECHDIV). A total of 2,500 TALON robots are now deployed around the world, with a significant number of them in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are used primarily to assist military personnel with the extremely dangerous job of detecting and disabling roadside bombs – the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by hostile forces to attack troops. TALON robots have been used in more than 100,000 counter-IED missions to date, saving countless lives in the process.
01 Dec 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation has demonstrated continuous combined payload coverage on its MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System (VUAS). The Fire Scout successfully downlinked simultaneous digital video from both a Telephonics RDR-1700B multi-mode maritime radar and a FLIR Systems, Inc. Star SAFIRE(r) III electro-optical/infrared sensor using its tactical common data link developed by Cubic Defense Applications. The multi-sensor Star SAFIRE(r) III provides domestic and international customers a state-of-the-art capability for meeting real-time video requirements for electro-optical and infrared imagery. The demonstration was part of an on-going internal research and development effort to reduce risk and solidify requirements for Fire Scout’s multiple radar integration programs. The successful 40-minute flight, using a company-owned air vehicle and ground control station, took place Nov. 18 at the Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. test center.
01 Dec 08. Unmanned Airborne Vehicles and Integrated Systems Symposium and Pavilion. Aerospace Australia Limited is pleased to advise that a dedicated Unmanned Airborne Vehicles and Integrated Systems Symposium and associated Exhibition Pavilion will be held at the 2009 Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition at Avalon 10 to 15 March 2009, to supplement the Australian Department of Defence closed Uninhabited Aerial Systems Seminar (being held on Monday 9 March 2009). The Unmanned Airborne Vehicles and Integrated Systems Symposium and Exhibition Pavilion is supported by the Department of Defence, and will provide exhibitors with a unique opportunity to present and showcase technologies, products and capabilities to prospective defence, homeland security and civilian customers, including attendees of the Australian Department of Defence closed seminar.