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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

29 Apr 05. Singapore eyes benefits of unmanned vehicles. The Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) most senior officer has articulated his desire for the service to exploit the potential of unmanned vehicle systems as a key component of the RSN’s future force structure. (Source: Jane’s Defence Weekly)

May 05. Industry day to be held this month – Army seeking contractor for advanced precision kill weapon system. After “curtailing” a General Dynamics contract for the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System program earlier this year, the Army is gearing up for a recompetition, according to Dan O’Boyle, a spokesman for the Army Aviation and Missile Command. An APKWS industry day is slated to occur mid-month, to be followed by a draft request for proposals in late June and RFP in early August, O’Boyle said. A final downselect is slated to occur in the third quarter of fiscal year 2006, at which point the program will enter into the concept design and development phase, he added. APKWS is being designed to provide the Army and the Marine Corps with a a next-generation aviation rocket built by adding a “smart” front end to old Hydra-70 rockets.In January, GD received a curtailment letter notifying it that additional funding would not be applied to its APKWS contract. (Source: Inside the Army, Feb. 7)

May 05. Joint Venture Plans to Lease Unmanned Airships. It is expected that investors in Airship Leasing will contribute more than US$ 15m to allow it to purchase four non-remote manned mid-altitude airships from TSI. The aircraft manufactured by TSI can be rigged for remote-unmanned or non-remote-manned use. Cyber Defense plans to market these airships to the US government initially, and then to other friendly governments worldwide, as a means of reducing dependence on expensive satellite technologies for communications and surveillance activities, it said. The TSI airships have flown up to an altitude of nearly 20,000 feet; it is anticipated that they will reach up to 65,000 feet, an altitude sufficient for communication and surveillance technologies. (Source: Cyber Defense Systems Inc.)

May 05. Sky-X to Fly in May. The Sky-X, being developed by Alenia Aeronautica of Italy, will begin test flights in May on the Vidsel test range in Northern Sweden, and will then be displayed at the 46th International Paris Air Show to be held at Le Bourget from 13th – 19th June 2005. The recently unveiled technology demonstrator is 6,84 metres long with a wing span of 5,74 m, and is powered by a Microturbo TRI 60-5/268 engine allowing a maximum take-off weight of more than 1,100 kg (max 200 kg payload capability), and a cruise speed of Mach 0,5 Mach. The air vehicle is said to be capable of reaching altitudes of 33,000 ft (10,000 m) and has been designed to have a maximum speed of Mach 0, 7.
(Source: Luca Peruzzi, freelance journalist)

03 May 05. The Titan Corporation’s VideoScout – a fully integrated, portable COTS intelligent video management system – has been deployed to Iraq by the US Marine Corps’ I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) for use with their Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Marines from II MEF relieved I MEF in March and continue to use VideoScout to capture, encode, archive, search/retrieve, annotate and transmit video and images captured by the Scan Eagle, aiding in the quick distribution of actionable, intelligent UAV video intelligence across the battle space.

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