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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

10 Aug 12. Japan considers deploying Global Hawk in Guam. The United States and Japan are considering deploying Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance UAVs out of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, an official at the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) told IHS Jane’s on 9 August. The UAVs will survey China’s military activities in waters around Japan, including the disputed southern Senkaku islands. Enhancing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) co-operation by utilising Global Hawk surveillance drones in Guam is part of a broad agreement reached during a meeting on 3 August by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Japanese Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto, the official said. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

09 Aug 12. As US defense spending ramps down, both the military and the aerospace industry want to sell more drones to friends and allies overseas. Right now, however, export controls and arms control treaties make that awfully hard. “The foreign sales aspect of these RPAs [remotely piloted aircraft] is potentially huge,” Maj. Gen. James Poss, who heads policy making on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for the Air Force staff, said Wednesday at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) conference (click here for full coverage). A less restrictive export policy for unmanned aircraft is “in the national interest of the United States,” Poss continued. “It’s something we’re aggressively working with both the OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] policy folks and the State Department.” (Source: glstrade.com/AolDefense.com)

10 Aug 12. ITT Exelis readies for UAS sense-and-avoid trials. ITT Exelis plans to conduct the first live transmission of its new sense-and-avoid radar for unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) in September 2012 and will conduct flight demonstrations in the 1Q13 the first quarter of 2013. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

10 Aug 12. GA-ASI expands airborne C-IED portfolio. General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) successfully flight-tested a new airborne imaging system to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the company announced at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) 2012 conference in Las Vegas. The sensor system, known as Nightlighter, was demonstrated on a Twin Otter aircraft during an Olympus Flight Test sponsored by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in China Lake, California. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

10 Aug 12. Drones rule the skies over Afghanistan. But the next war may be a different story. “We’re fighting cavemen that aren’t shooting back,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Murray. “That’s not where we’re going.” An enemy more high-tech than the Taliban — which doesn’t take much — could jam or hack the datalinks used to control American drones, or just plain shoot them down. Last year, Iran reportedly brought down a RQ-170 spy drone with a cyber attack. To survive in unfriendly skies, Murray said, unmanned aircraft must be “joint, common, interoperable, and survivable — and we are none of those things right now.” (Source: glstrade.com/AolDefense.com)

10 Aug 12. UAVs to receive MAD metal detectors. CAE is working to integrate its Magnetic Anomaly Detection Extended Role (MAD-XR) magnetic anomaly detection system with UAVs. The company’s MAD systems are operational with a number of militaries of fixed- and rotary-wing platforms. MAD systems are primarily used in anti-submarine warfare (ASW). (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

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