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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

22 Feb 11. FLIR Systems, Inc’s. the Star SAFIRE 380-HD electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor has been selected by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, inc (GA-ASI) as leading EO/IR sensor candidate for various Predator XP Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) pursuits in the Middle East and North Africa. Offering comparable ISR capabilities as Predator, Predator XP has been licensed by the U.S. Government to be proposed for sale to a broader customer base, including countries in the Middle East and North Africa. FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE 380-HD, a second generation HD sensor, is a gyro-stabilized, multi-spectral, high-definition, digital EO/IR system. It has high structural rigidity, suitable for installation and operation on a wide range of UAS, helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and ships. Its internal IMU allows high-accuracy geo-pointing, stabilization and referencing. Star SAFIRE 380-HD is configured to operate simultaneously in the visible, near-IR and mid-wave bands.

20 Feb 11. FLIR Systems, Inc. is receiving strong demand for the Cobalt™, Star SAFIRE® and TALON™ classes of stabilized multi-sensor airborne systems for integration on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) across the world. Since the beginning of the year, FLIR has received orders for more than 130 airborne systems for a variety of applications and platforms in the Americas, the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East and throughout Europe. “The strong global demand for our products is a testament to the high performance, reliability and effectiveness of our systems,” said Bill Sundermeier, president, FLIR Government Systems division. “With an increased focus on taking warfighters out of harm’s way, we expect the role of unmanned systems to have an amplified presence going forward.”
FLIR Systems is currently under contract for both the Cobalt 190 and Star SAFIRE 230HD sensors, which are being integrated onto UAV platforms for the use in missions to include reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting. These smaller systems were developed to accommodate customer needs for lighter solutions without compromising capability and performance.

17 Feb 11. USAF to reduce Global Hawk Block 40 buy. The US Air Force (USAF) says it will cut in half its planned buy of its latest version of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and use the savings to fix problems with an earlier variant of the high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft. The air force plans to cut orders of the Block 40 Global Hawk – which is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar – from 22 to 11, General Alfred Flowers, the USAF’s deputy assistant budget secretary, told reporters at a 14 February budget briefing. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

11 Feb 11. T-Hawk set for India demonstration. Honeywell Aerospace is to demonstrate its T-Hawk man-portable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to the Indian paramilitary security services “sometime in the first quarter of 2011”, a company spokesperson told Jane’s at the Aero India airshow. Speaking on 9 February at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bangalore, Arijit Ghosh, Honeywell’s country head for Defense & Space Aerospace, said that this demonstration to the Ministry of Homeland Affairs will take place somewhere in Chhattisgarh Province in the centre of the country and is part of a process under way by the ministry to define its UAV needs. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

17 Feb 11. AeroVironment, Inc. has accomplished a technical milestone never before achieved — controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source, and uses only the flapping wings for propulsion and control. The milestone was part of the Phase II contract awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to AV to design and build a flying prototype “hummingbird-like” aircraft for the Nano AirVehicle (NAV) program.
“The success of the NAV program paves the way for a new generation of aircraft with the agility and appear

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