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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

03 Jun 11. The German Army is to deploy a new small tactical reconnaissance unmanned air system (UAS), Mikado AR 100 B, to provide additional situational awareness to troops in northern Afghanistan. The vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) system, built by AirRobot, is equipped with a video sensor that transmits the collected data in near real-time whilst the vehicle itself can carry a payload of 200g. The system can be equipped with various cameras, including daylight, twilight or infrared, to help troops to safely detect and identify suspected targets, weapon systems and vehicles. An instructor team has already been deployed to train a total of 48 soldiers in six training courses to operate the new system, according to Defpro.com. The company has also provided the army with six systems, two rechargeable batteries and a battery charger. (Source: armytechnology.com)

02 Jun 11. Northrop Grumman Corporation presented a full-scale model of the RQ-4 Block 10 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to the Northland Community and Technical College Foundation of East Grand Forks, Minn. The presentation was part of the Red River Valley Research Corridor Unmanned Aviation Systems Action Summit. The model was given to Northland Community and Technical College Foundation in support of unmanned systems educational programs at Northland and the University of North Dakota (UND). UND provides extensive UAS pilot training and Northland provides UAS aircraft maintenance training.

06 Jun 11. Elbit Systems Ltd. was awarded a contract to supply a Latin American country with Hermes® 900 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The project is not in an amount that is material to Elbit Systems. The UAS will also include complementing ground control stations, as well as Elbit Systems Electro-optics – Elop Ltd.’s highly advanced DCoMPASS™ payload systems and radar systems. Hermes® 900 builds on the vast operational experience of the Hermes® 450, the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces’ UAS fleet. Hermes® 900 offers a range of enhanced capabilities, from higher flight altitude (over 30,000 ft) to longer endurance and larger payload capacity. The system’s unique multipurpose payload bay enables it to carry a wide variety of payloads in different shapes and sizes for quick “conversion” between various payload configurations. The common unified ground control station (UGCS) and the shared software architecture and training programs, allows the Hermes® 900 to offer seamless integration for existing Hermes® 450 users, enhancing operational flexibility and cost effectiveness.

03 Jun 11. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine’s Unmanned Aircraft System program has achieved a historic milestone, exceeding 10,000 flight hours. Unveiled in 2005, the highly capable and proven Predator B UAS supports CBP’s primary mission of securing the border and preventing acts of terrorism by helping to identify and intercept potential terrorist and illegal cross-border activity. Manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., the aircraft’s operational capabilities, payload capacity and mission flexibility greatly enhances the agency’s enforcement and emergency and disaster response efforts. The remotely piloted aircraft provide aerial surveillance support for up to 20 hours for personnel on the ground by investigating sensor activity in remote areas to distinguish between real or perceived threats, allowing CBP ground forces to best allocate their resources and efforts, and providing increased visibility even at night or in low light. CBP also deploys the UAS in support of federal and state directed disaster relief. The Predator B’s capability to provide high-quality, real-time data assessing critical infrastructure before and after catastrophic events makes it an ideal aircraft to support emergency preparations and recovery efforts. The CBP UAS provided emergency support for the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season and the 2009, 2010 and

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