28 Nov 12. European Union to release UAV air traffic roadmap by 2012 end. The European Union (EU) is planning to release a roadmap for aerial
UAV air traffic by the end of 2012, which will enable UAVs to fly in the same airspace as general air traffic by 2016. European Defence Agency research and technology director Christian Breant was quoted by Defense News as saying that the officials preparing future technologies and those devising future regulations have been working since early September 2012 to rapidly develop the roadmap. The officials are expected to determine the cost of putting the roadmap into practice in early 2013, Breant added. The project is expected to achieve initial capability with some restrictions in 2016, followed by full operational capability by 2020. Pursued as part of a European Framework Cooperation agreement, which was signed between the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Commission, the project is an effort to further improve civil-military cooperation in research and technology domains. Other programme partners include the European Commission (EC), Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency. Funding for the project is expected to be provided through the EU’s civilian Horizon 2020 programme and the EDA’s joint investment programme. The latest move follows a written declaration submitted by the French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish foreign affairs and defence ministers to EU, urging it to continue further research into dual-use technologies and enhance synergies between member countries’ defence-related research and technology activities. EC and EDA are already coordinating research activities in chemical and biological protection, and areas where dual-use technologies could emerge include cyber defence, unmanned maritime systems and development of materials based on carbon fibre and gallium nitride for high performance radar and electronic warfare. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
28 Nov 12. Egypt Set to Purchase Turkish UAVs. Egypt will be purchasing 10 unmanned air vehicles which were made by Turkish Aerospace Industries. The UAV, named the Anka, had been developed quickly as a result of previous events with the Israeli navy. As a result Turkey no longer has any defence relationship with Israel. However, Turkey’s air force is the owner and operator of Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1s. They plan on reconciling this by cancelling their pending purchase of Aeronautics Defence Systems Aerostar tactical reconnaissance systems. The Anka can carry a payload of 250 kg for 24 hours with a maximum take-off weight of 1,500 kg. TAI had announced earlier that the Turkish military was planning on ordering 10 of the UAVs, with a delivery rate of two years after the contracts are complete. As for Egypt, Israel speculates that this deal is purely to gain closer ties to the new government, and not for the sake of Egypt’s UAV requirements. (Source: hawkinformation.com)
27 Nov 12. The U.S. Defense Department has issued a new directive on the use of autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems, an attempt to regulate a technology that officials say could be years from becoming reality. The directive, released Nov. 27, is focused on systems that can select and engage targets without the intervention of a human operator. Non-lethal autonomous systems, such as electronic attack or cyberspace systems, fall outside its jurisdiction. So do technologies such as the Patriot missile system, which have autonomous functions but still require human supervision. Any autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems “shall be designed to allow commanders and operators to exercise appropriate levels of human judgment over the use of force,” the doctrine reads. Humans still must play an oversight role, with the ability to activate or deactivate system functions should the need arise.
(Source: Defense News)
26 Nov 12. China’s Unmanned Aircraft Evolve from Figment to Reality. China’s UAVs hav