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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

01 May 12. Boeing has completed the first delivery of its tactical cross-domain technology, eXMeritus HardwareWall, to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) for integration into the Ground Control Station (GCS) of the Predator/Reaper Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV). The delivery is part of a contract from GA-ASI that includes additional deliveries of HardwareWall and associated information assurance and engineering support. eXMeritus HardwareWall improves the ability of intelligence analysts and warfighters to securely access videos and imagery from the MQ-1Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. This contract is part of the U.S. Air Force’s GCS Modernization Program. Predator and Reaper provide tactical and strategic intelligence to operational commanders worldwide. The cross-domain capability is based on technology from Boeing eXMeritus HardwareWall that enables the secure transfer of information among networks operating at different security levels. eXMeritus HardwareWall is one of only a select number of technologies listed on the Unified Cross Domain Management Office Baseline, a list of validated solutions already certified and accredited by sponsoring agencies.

23 Apr 12. US Navy explores extreme-range UUV tethering. The US Navy is experimenting with fibre-optic cabling to see if the technology could prove suitable as a communications link between unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV) and submarines. “One thing we are looking at is how do we create a real-time datalink to these undersea assets so that you can, in real time, see what that vehicle is seeing, see what it is experiencing and feed it back to the submarine commanding officer so he can make real-time decisions based on that data,” Commander John Vlattas, programme manager, Advanced Submarine Systems, told IHS Jane’s. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

01 May 12. Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 has taken a further step in consolidating its strong maritime position by being the first UAS (Unmanned Air System) to ever fly from an Italian Navy ship. The S-100 was flown from the ITS Bersagliere, a Soldati Class frigate and successfully carried out a number of missions for observers from the Italian Navy. From the Italian Navy Base of La Spezia a number of scenarios were flown and the CAMCOPTER® S-100 performed flawlessly in sea states three to four and with wind speeds of up to 25 kts. The payload of choice was a Wescam MX-10 camera, transmitting high definition images in real-time to the control station during the 4.5 hours of flight time.

30 Apr 12. The US Air Force (USAF) is considering the development of nano-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to conduct penetrating reconnaissance missions inside heavily defended airspace. The service will initially depend on stealthy fifth-generation fighter fleet to gather intelligence data inside heavily defended airspace as well as on other non-stealth airborne intelligence collectors, such as RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft. USAF intelligence chief Lieutenant General Larry James has been quoted by Flightglobal as saying that its Lockheed Martin-built F-22s and F-35s could be the only aircraft capable of gathering intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data inside those hostile environments. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)

04 May 12. The Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) has officially commenced operations in Afghanistan with the Australian Army, providing an enhanced capability to the International Security Assistance Force. The Shadow 200 TUAS is designed to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) operational support, enhancing the decision cycle of the support force element, through the employment of its sensors. The Shadow 200 TUAS replaces the ScanEagle which has been in operation since mid 2007. Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power said the ScanEagle has provided constant intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support to ground elements

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