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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

18 Sep 12. ISR Group, Inc. and Vanguard Defense Industries, Inc. have signed an exclusive agreement for ISR Group to perform flight operations, operator training, and maintenance services in support of Vanguard Defense’s Shadowhawk® unmanned aircraft system platform. This agreement will provide unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) systems to support U.S. and NATO Forces, as well as other government agencies, and will allow for further advances of unmanned VTOL technology within the private sector for commercial applications. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

17 Sep 12 . General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. announced that its Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper RPA has successfully completed 106 full-stop Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability (ATLC) landings, a first for the multi-mission aircraft. The milestone was first achieved with four ATLC landings on June 27 at the company’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. During the landings, the aircraft tracked the centerline, decelerated smoothly, and applied reverse thrust and full brakes at the appropriate ground speeds to a complete stop. Envelope expansion for takeoffs and landings at higher wind limits, maximum aircraft gross weight, differential GPS (dGPS) enhancements, and terrain avoidance with adjustable glideslope has now begun. The design of the ATLC system was leveraged directly from the highly successful and proven Automatic Takeoff and Landing System (ATLS) developed by GA-ASI for its Gray Eagle® unmanned aircraft system, which has reached a record of 10,000-plus successful automatic takeoff and landings. A technologically advanced derivative of the combat-proven Predator, the multi-mission Predator B provides essential situational awareness for warfighters, excelling in combat missions focusing on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), precision strike on time-sensitive targets, close air support, laser designation and illumination, signals intelligence, forward air

14 Sep 12. A merger between EADS and Britain’s BAE Systems could strengthen European efforts to develop unmanned aerial drones, after competition between the two firms allowed the United States and Israel to
dominate a growing market.The attacks on the United States of Sept. 11, 2001 ended official scepticism over the value of drones and Airbus maker EADS has spent years and around €500m ($645m) working on the Talarion drone in the hope of an order from the project’s instigators France, Germany and Spain. But then France’s Dassault Aviation and Britain’s BAE Systems stepped up plans for their own drone under a Franco-British defence pact signed in 2010, provoking anger and frustration from EADS. Earlier this year, EADS threw in the towel because it failed to win firm commitments, and the project has been further hampered by a major shake-up at defence unit Cassidian that has included replacing its chief executive. However, the efforts by Dassault and BAE to build their own drone so far do not seem to have borne much fruit either, with French Defence Minister Jean-Yves le Drian saying this week he had “major reservations” about the plan. A combination with BAE would give EADS an opportunity to avoid losing more ground in drones, which are becoming more common in areas such as border control, especially in the United States, disaster investigation and protecting oil pipelines. U.S. forces have become reliant on them for reconnaissance, including in Iraq, and to kill Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, despite public outcries over civilian casualties. (Source: Reuters)

17 Sep 12. Resource UAS (RUAS) has taken delivery of a bespoke High Fidelity UAS Mission Simulator which is the first such facility to be established in the UK. This agile and innovative simulator will enable RUAS to offer a unique foundation training experience. Located at the Resource Training facility in Cwmbran, South Wales, the simulator is platform agnostic and is able to simulat

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