19 Nov 10. The CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) successfully demonstrated in a series of flights its capabilities to the Spanish Military and a number of other Spanish Government Departments during
the period of 3 through 5 November 2010. In Spain, once again Schiebel’s unmanned helicopter CAMCOPTER® S-100 convinced representatives of the Spanish Military and a number of other Spanish Government Departments of its outstanding capabilities as a VTOL UAS, after series of sorties were flown from the Torregorda land test site. In support, a number of presentations were given to the attending officers, covering the unique capabilities of the S-100 and its extensive portfolio of available payloads. Several mission profiles were flown, demonstrating the UAS manual and automatic modes whilst highlighting its wider capabilities and flexibility. The scenarios were chosen by the Spanish Authorities and included littoral surveillance, stand-off surveillance and vehicle tracking sorties. The demonstrations were carried out with the full support of Schiebel s partners in Spain, Sener Systems S.A. and APSA, who were instrumental in ensuring that all clearance, certification and logistics issues were properly addressed. This partnership collectively makes a formidable team of experts, dedicated to customer satisfaction and meeting the Spanish UAS needs of the future. Accordingly, the
CAMCOPTER® S-100 sorties, carrying the Thales Optronics Agile 2 EO/IR sensor were completely successful, demonstrating the mature and extensive capabilities of the system.
24 Nov 10. The Boeing-developed Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system has successfully completed low-speed taxi tests at Lambert International Airport in St Louis, US. During the taxi test, the Phantom Ray communicated with the ground control station, received its orders and made its way down the runway multiple times. Boeing will ready Phantom Ray to travel to Edwards Air Force Base in California, US, aboard Nasa’s modified 747 shuttle carrier aircraft in preparation for high-speed taxi tests. After the high-speed taxi tests, the airborne system will take its first flight. Phantom Ray has been designed to support missions including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defences; electronic attack; strike and autonomous aerial refuelling. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
17 Nov 10. Unmanned Air Vehicles: Development. The Personnel Minister said (17 Nov 10) that the MoD plans to spend around £400m on the development of remotely-piloted air systems between 2010 and 2015.
Comment: The term ‘unmanned air vehicles’ is being replaced in certain (light blue) circles by ‘remotely-piloted air systems’. Unmanned air (and land) systems in UK service, those under development and those under consideration, were listed with DNA 10/30 of 2 Aug 10. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/45, 22 Nov 10)
17 Nov 10. China has developed a Predator-like armed unmanned aircraft: the Pterodactyl I medium-extended long-endurance system. Avic says it unveiled the air vehicle for the first time two years ago at the Airshow China, but a colleague who was here at the time says that was not the case — it may have been one of the programs that was made to disappear last minute, as is often the case here. But one of the key developments for the UAV since then is that authorities in China have given the approval to export the system. Pakistan may have been a target customer, but the Avic system appears to have lost out to another rival. The UAV was developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute, and has undergone a series of flight trials, including weapons launches. The Pterodactyl has been used both to drop bombs and fire lightweight missiles. Total payload capacity for the UAV is 200 kg., with the forward looking infrared sensor weighing about 100 kg. leaving 50 kg. of weapons to be carried under each wing. The air vehicle is 9.05 meters long a