18 Oct 05. The Micro Air Vehicle (MAV), developed by Honeywell under a two-phased Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency advanced concept technology development contract, has achieved a technology readiness level 6. The readiness level is based on recent successes during government acceptance tests and pre-experimentation flights. The level 6 designation is consistent with FCS requirements to begin transitioning the technology to the FCS program. The Micro Air Vehicle contract provides critical development in two key technology areas essential to meeting FCS Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle requirements: a ducted fan design providing hover and stare capability coupled with a small heavy fuels engine. The FCS program will continue to work with DARPA and Honeywell to transition the heavy fuel engine technology as it matures through the remainder of the DARPA contract.
21 Oct 05. The Market for UAV Reconnaissance Systems – including air vehicles, ground control equipment and payloads – is expected to be worth $13.6 billion through 2014. “Although the popularity of UAVs continues to grow worldwide, the United States is by far the largest single market,” said Dickerson. “American firms have a value share of more than 50 percent of this market and could gain control of a further 5-10 percent over the next decade,” he added. The dominance of these American companies can be attributed in part to the large U.S. requirement and the high cost of certain systems it is currently acquiring such as the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. More than 9,000 UAVs are expected to be purchased over the next 10 years by countries in every region of the world. Forecast International does not include funding for RDT&E and operations and maintenance in its analysis, but as procurement increases, money spent in these areas is also likely to increase. (Source: Forecast)