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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

20 Dec 05. Saab welcomes Swedish Neuron decision. The Swedish Government has decided to participate in the European UCAV-demonstrator program, Neuron. Saab’s participation in the program is thereby secured. The decision means that Saab, through FMV (the Swedish Defense Material Administration) finances the Swedish participation with MSEK 600 of a total of MSEK 750. At the same time Swedish Government secures that MSEK 600 will be reinvested in the long-term development of the Gripen program. The Neuron program represents one part of a combined investment by Saab and FMV in the Gripen program. The Saab share will be capitalized and amortized against future revenues on Gripen sales.

20 Dec 05. Korean ADD Plans to Monitor Sea with UAV. It has been confirmed that Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) is actively pursuing to participate in the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program development, which uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) as well as adopting it. On December 19, a source from the military announced, “Since a few months ago, the ADD has been heavily briefed on BAMS by U.S. Navy UAV developers, and after showing great interest in participating, it requested the U.S. Navy for additional briefings as soon as possible.” He added, “In the future, when the BAMS program is developed and adopted by Korea, a structure that monitors not only the Northern Limit Line (NLL) but also all the territorial seas will be built.” The BAMS programs consists of constructing a 24-hour surveillance system over the sea using satellite communication devices, infrared detection devices, and state-of-the-art strategic UAVs such as the Predator equipped with high-resolution cameras instead of using conventional sea patrol planes such as P-3C. After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has been actively engaged in developing the BAMS program in order to counter terrorist threats from the air or sea. It has been reported that the ADD is also pursuing measures to cooperate with the U.S. Air Force in developing its own miniature UAV. These minute UAVs are only a few centimeters big, but they are equipped with video and infrared and other state-of-the-art sensors, being able to monitor up to 10km away.

19 Dec 05. Simulated flight bench tests are being conducted this week on the US Naval Research Laboratory’s 2.54kg (5.6lb) Spider-Lion fuel-cell powered unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to gain performance efficiency data. The bench test data will aid further research using a lighter fuel cell and a larger UAV platform. The NRL wants to develop a long-endurance, persistent surveillance UAV able to operate from 8h to 24h. Its researchers have concluded that batteriesbut fuel cells will. (Source: Flight International)

16 Dec 05. Williamson & Associates, Inc. of Seattle, Washington has completed construction of a ROV designed to obtain 20 meters of rock core in water depths to 6000 meters. This is the second such system designed and built by Williamson & Associates, Inc. for Nichiyu Giken Kogyo Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan; the first, delivered in 1996, is still in operation. Called Benthic Multi-coring Systems (BMS), these drills are operated by the Deep Ocean Resources Development Company, Ltd. for the Japanese Government. Upon completion of local testing and sea trials in July, the new system was shipped to Japan and installed on the research ship Hakurei Maru Number 2. Successful deep water acceptance trials were conducted offshore Japan during September and December, 2005. These trials included rock drilling in water depths of 3400 meters and 5200 meters resulting in 100% core recovery in various substrates

16 Dec 05. The Unmanned Ground Vehicle being developed by the Ahmednagar-based Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) to cut down troop losses in counter insurgency operations will have two variants — a battlefield surveillance vehicle and an NBC contamination reconnaissance version. First reported in Newsline o

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