UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
May 09. Systems and engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash has been contracted by the UK MoD to support the development of BAE Systems’ two major Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) programmes, Taranis and Mantis. Frazer-Nash will be undertaking an Independent Safety Audit of the two programmes with specific focus on the vehicles flight safety critical systems. Both the Taranis and Mantis form part of the MoD’s drive to introduce long endurance autonomous Unmanned Air Systems as an increasingly important element of the UK’s reconnaissance and strike capabilities. Taranis, set to be the largest UAS yet built in the UK, is planned to undergo its first flight trials in 2010. In this trials phase Frazer-Nash is providing an independent audit of the demonstrator flight trials safety, as well as independent technical evaluation of the safety critical vehicle systems.
17 May 09. Elbit Systems Ltd. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, LLC and General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products have formed a new joint venture named UAS Dynamics, LLC, to provide unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to the Department of Defense (DoD) and other potential U.S. government customers through programs such as the recently announced U.S. Marine Corps’ Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS)/Tier II program. The solutions that UAS Dynamics will offer are based on advanced, mature UAS designs that have accumulated more than 150,000 operational flight hours to date: the combat-proven Hermes® and Skylark® systems developed and fielded by Elbit Systems Ltd. UAS Dynamics will adapt those proven designs to incorporate new technologies that use U.S. engineering, technology, manufacturing and logistics resources to rapidly field and satisfy evolving U.S. requirements. The new platforms will fill current and future operational gaps allowing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities that range in size and scope from hand-held and tactical level systems to medium altitude, long-endurance level systems.
09 May 2009. Astrium CEO Franois Auque and Gavyllatyp T. Murzakulov, CEO of JSC National Company Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary, a company reporting to the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, have signed a technological and strategic partnership agreement that will allow Astrium to play an active role in the development of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s space industry. Within the framework of the agreement, Astrium will build a major satellite integration centre that will be part of the future Kazakhstan national space centre planned for the country’s new capital, Astana. A joint venture between Astrium and JSC National Company Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary, will run the integration centre. Astrium will also provide Kazakhstan with two Earth observation satellites, as well as receiving stations for the Spot and TerraSAR-X satellites. The increasing use of satellite imagery is spurring the development of Kazakhstan’s satellite capabilities. A major partnership is planned in this sector with Spot Image and Infoterra, the two companies developing the market for satellite imagery applications as part of Astrium Services. Kazakhstan has already chosen several applications for mapping, the environment, agriculture, and management of the country’s significant natural resources. The applications will be operational very shortly. Astrium will train more than 100 Kazakhstan engineers in satellite integration and satellite imagery processing. The training will take place in Kazakhstan and at Astrium’s site in Toulouse.
18 May 09. Data network provider Convergence Group has announced a strategic partnership with market leading service provider Anix Group Limited. The partnership will tap into Convergence Group’s expertise in customer communication provisioning and network management solutions and will broaden Anix’s range of services delivering further solutions for customers. The new partnership will combine t