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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

23 Aug 12. Poland’s Ministry of Defense has announced plans to replace its fleet of Su-22 fighter jets with unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), according to various reports in the Polish media. Senior defense officials say Poland will not modernize its 38 Soviet-built jets, first of which are to be withdrawn from service in 2014. Retired Gen. Waldemar Skrzypczak, Poland’s deputy defense minister responsible for the armed forces’ modernization, has said that the Polish military should acquire at least 30 armed drones by the end of 2018. Under the plan, the new drones are to be stationed in the Polish Air Force’s 21st Tactical Air Base in Swidwin, in the country’s northwestern region of Zachodniopomorskie, where the Su-22s are currently deployed. Other scenarios discussed by the Polish military included the acquisition of a further squadron of F-16C/D fighter jets. However, the plan was eventually scrapped by the ministry. The Polish Air Force has 48 F-16C/D Block 52+ fighter jets which were purchased in 2004. (Source: Defense News)

28 Aug 12. Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division participated in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle training, Aug. 21. The training was conducted by instructors from the Small Unmanned Aircraft School based at Fort Benning, Ga. The Raven platform used in this training is a small hand launched system capable of 90-minute flight times on battery power with a range of more than 10 kilometers. The Raven system has been used by the 2nd BCT in combat and is a valued asset to a ground force. The system is extremely portable and can easily be deployed into a combat situation by a two-man team. The information that can be gathered and relayed instantly is a valuable asset to any ground commander. It provides information critical to making an informed decision on where and when to employ other combat assets. (Source: ASD Network)

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