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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

05 Jan 09. AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, announced conducted a successful first flight of its new Aerosonde Mark 5 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. This initial flight met or exceeded all test objectives and validated the aerodynamic capabilities of the new airframe. Future flight testing is planned to validate additional key performance parameters for this aircraft class, including new payload capabilities as they are integrated. This rigorous validation process was initiated in preparation for AAI’s possible entry of the Aerosonde Mark 5 UAS in the upcoming U.S. Navy’s Small Tactical UAS, or STUAS, program as well as the U.S. Marine Corps’ Tier II UAS program. (Source: Google)

07 Jan 09. The ScanEagle UAS, a joint effort of The Boeing Company and Insitu Inc., this week completed its 1,500th shipboard sortie in service with the U.S. Navy. ScanEagle has provided persistent, cost-effective ISR to the Navy since July 2005. The Navy has used ScanEagle aboard a variety of ships — ranging from the destroyer USS Mahan to the amphibious vessel USS Whidbey Island — as well as on support ships and small combatant craft. In addition, ScanEagle serves with other U.S. forces and with international customers in various theaters around the world. “We’ve learned lessons from our extensive ScanEagle operations that have helped us refine the system into a mature ISR asset that is safe, dependable and easy to operate for our sailors,”said Don Iverson, ScanEagle U.S. Navy program manager for Boeing. “These 1,500 safe shipboard recoveries, along with numerous operational reports from our customers, show that ScanEagle has established itself as a critical capability for naval operations around the world.” The long-endurance, fully autonomous ScanEagle UAS carries inertially stabilized electro-optical and infrared cameras that allow the operator to track both stationary and moving targets. Capable of flying above 16,000 feet and loitering over the battlefield for more than 24 hours, the platform provides persistent low-altitude ISR. ScanEagle is launched autonomously from a pneumatic SuperWedge™ catapult launcher and flies either preprogrammed or operator-initiated missions. The Insitu-patented SkyHook™ system is used to retrieve the UAS, capturing it by way of a rope suspended from a 50-foot-high tower. The system makes ScanEagle runway-independent and minimizes its impact

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