13 Jan 10. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has begun operations of the first Heron UAV in support of the Australian troops in Afghanistan.
Designated A45-262, the UAV will deliver high-resolution intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, in support of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations in Afghanistan. As part of the project Nankeen, Canadian firm MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA) signed a contract with the Defence Material Organisation to develop the UAV. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the UAV will enhance the security of the ground troop, by providing ground commanders with ongoing, real-time situational awareness. The long-endurance features of Heron UAV increase the ADF’s operational ISR capabilities in Afghanistan that are currently provided by RAAF AP-3C Orions and the army’s Scan Eagle tactical UAV. (Source: army-technology.com)
Jan 10. Turkey and Israel appear to be on track to finalise a long delayed multi-million-dollar deal for the delivery of 10 drone aircraft for the Turkish air force, a Turkish official said Friday. The project, launched in 2005, was under threat of cancellation amid delays and rising tensions between the two countries over Israel’s devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip last year. “Turkish experts are currently in Israel to test the drones,” the defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Should the systems pass the tests, six aircraft will be brought to Turkey’s southeastern province of Batman, on the border with Iraq, for further tests, the official added. (Source: Google)
13 Jan 10. A Global Hawk plane departed from Beale Air Force Base Wednesday en route to Haiti in order to take aerial imagery of the earthquake-struck country. Meanwhile, a plane from Travis Air Force Base left Wednesday afternoon for March Air Reserve Base in Riverside to pick up personnel and cargo for a humanitarian mission in Haiti. “Travis Air Force Base, located in California’s 10th Congressional District, is playing its part in this response as well,” Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek), said in a statement. “This is the first plane sent out from the entire Air Mobility Command of the USA, and a vital step in the much broader relief effort.”