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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

24 Mar 10. The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS), developed and built by Northrop Grumman, made its debut today in Tokyo in front of various Japanese military and defence industry officials. With a wingspan of nearly 131 feet, a full-scale model of the Block 30 Global Hawk was on display March 24-25 at the Plaza Industry Ota Exhibition Centre located near the Tokyo Haneda International Airport. Japan is the final stop for the model, which has been touring the Pacific region, including Hawaii, Guam, Australia and Singapore, for the past two years. “We hope this model display will enhance Japan’s understanding of the system’s design for long endurance, safety and reliability, as well as encourage Japan’s Ministry of Defence to consider it for inclusion in the mid-term defence plan set to begin in Japan during fiscal year 2011,” said Curt Orchard, vice president for Northrop Grumman International, Inc. in Japan. “Capable of flying well above all civil air traffic at altitudes up to 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours at a time, Global Hawk is a suitable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) asset for Japan.”

19 Mar 10. Northrop Grumman seeks to extend STARLite offering. Northrop Grumman has revealed it is looking to expand the installation base of the AN/ZPY-1 STARLite 1-D electronically scanned array radar. Strategic Planning Director Mike Pefley told Jane’s that the US Army is procuring 33 of the Ku-band (12.5 to 18 GHz) STARLite systems for its MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) before the end of this year. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

19 Mar 10. Dassault chief indicates interest in Anglo-French UAV project. Dassault Aviation would be keen on building a medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with British aircraft manufacturers if France and the UK decide in favour of a collaborative venture, Dassault’s chairman and chief executive officer, Charles Edelstenne, said on 17 March. “We have shown with the Neuron UCAV [unmanned combat aerial vehicle] project that we are reliable, cost-efficient and skilled partners,” Edelstenne said. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

29 Mar 10. The Pentagon hopes “within a year” to deliver around a dozen unarmed drone aircraft to Pakistan to aid its fight against Islamic extremism, a US senior military official said Monday. “I would like to think that we would get them there within a year, but quantity and so forth, I think, will depend on what are the right ones, and how many make sense for the fight that they’re in,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official told reporters that while the United States is looking at sending about a dozen aircraft to Islamabad, the actual number of drone aircraft “could be more or less, depending on the need.” “What we are trying to do is get with them to be able to articulate the requirements of what they need,” the official said. Efforts are underway by US officials to “match the right equipment to the requirements. That’s what we are trying to work them through.” Pakistan previously has also urged Washington to outfit its military with armed aerial vehicles like the Predator and Reaper. US drone missile strikes against Al-Qaeda and Taliban figures in Pakistan have fueled anti-American sentiment because of civilian casualties, and drawn public condemnation from the government in Islamabad. The United States has carried out nearly 100 attacks with unmanned drones in Pakistan since August 2008, killing more than 830 people. Figures range widely on how many civilians have been killed. The unnamed official said Washington could supply around a dozen smaller, unarmed Shadow drones to Islamabad, to help with their surveillance and reconnaissance activities. “We looked at Shadows, we looked at ScanEagles,” among other drones, the official said. “Shadow drones may in fact be the right platform at the end of the day.” (Source: AFP/ASD Network)

29 Mar 10. The recently released Quadr

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