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27 Apr 11. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and surveillance systems, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH, an approved and certified MRO company for the outfitting and maintenance of civil and military aircraft, to offer the Predator® B UAS to meet the surveillance needs of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has established a “bridging solution” for its SAATEG (System fuer die abbildende Aufklaerung in der Tiefe des Einsatzgebietes; In-Theatre Reconnaissance) airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirement for unmanned aerial vehicles. “GA-ASI’s establishment of a working relationship with RUAG represents a strategic commitment by both companies to support the German Armed Forces with a proven, affordable, and responsive solution to Germany’s ISR and defense requirements,” said Neal Blue, chairman and CEO, GA-ASI. “RUAG’s expertise and know-how in the development, manufacture, maintenance, and logistics support of aircraft systems for the German Armed Forces constitutes a strong complement to GA-ASI’s technical competence and expertise in the design, development, production, and operational support of Predator-class UAS with various integrated reconnaissance payloads.”“For more than 40 years, RUAG Aerospace Services has been building, completing, modifying, upgrading, and maintaining military systems of the German forces and border patrol,” said Alexander Müller, managing director of RUAG Aerospace Services. “This experience and acknowledged competence in the support of aircraft systems makes the company a competent German partner to GA-ASI.”The MOU contemplates that RUAG will assist in the adaptation of hardware to German national standards, offer guidance and support for German airworthiness certification requirements, and provide logistical, operational, and maintenance support of Predator B after delivery to the Federal Republic of Germany.

22 Apr 11. AME Unmanned Air Systems (AME UAS) announces the successful first flight of the Fury 1500 Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (STUAS) powered by a heavy-fuel engine. The successful flight occurred April 5 at the Fort Hunter Liggett range on California’s central coast. This latest upgrade to the Fury, developed at AME UAS’s facility in San Luis Obispo, CA, significantly increases the capability of the system, decreasing the logistical footprint of the system while increasing its endurance substantially. The Fury 1500 is a long-endurance, survivable, and runway-independent Multi-INT UAS, providing the large (multi-payload) capacity needed to satisfy critical requirements for the Warfighter. The Fury UAS, which was designed for multiple special missions, had its initial flight in 2008. (Source: Shephard)

25 Apr 11. The U.S. Navy’s Fire Scout Unmanned Air Vehicle system is about to begin its first land-based deployment to U.S. Central Command this month. The Fire Scout effort is led by the Navy and Marine Corps Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Air System program office, PMA-266, at Patuxent River, Md. In response to an urgent needs requirement from DoD’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance task force, the team rapidly modified, tested and verified the Fire Scout system to adjust to land-based operations and the demanding environmental conditions in CENTCOM.

18 Apr 11. Honeywell’s T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is helping emergency workers at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility get up-close video and photos inside the plant as they work to limit further radiation releases. Three Honeywell employees, trained to fly the unmanned T-Hawks remotely, have flown five successful missions and captured hours of video and dozens of photos of the nuclear reactor. The four T-Hawks in service at Fukushima Daiichi have been adapted to carr

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