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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

19 Feb 13. Northrop Grumman Corporation, in cooperation with Saab Aerosystems, has provided the attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) for the nEUROn Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator, which recently completed a successful first flight. Northrop Grumman’s German navigation systems subsidiary, Northrop Grumman LITEF, supplied the fibre-optic, gyrocompassing LCR-100 AHRS for the European UCAV demonstrator. The LCR-100 AHRS provides navigation information relating to the aircraft’s position, heading and attitude. The north-finding gyrocompass feature eliminates the need for a magnetic sensing unit, similar to an inertial reference system. Additionally, the system’s precise inertial measurement unit enables extended coasting performance for the aircraft to continue providing accurate navigation information in the event of GPS signal loss. The LCR-100 is certified to civil standards for commercial off-the-shelf equipment in military platforms.
“The LCR-100 has proven that it is an efficient, cost-effective solution for unmanned aerial vehicles, particularly because of its small size and light weight,” said Eckehardt Keip, managing director for Northrop Grumman LITEF. “The system performed to our high standards and played a critical role in the nEUROn’s major milestone achievement.”
The nEUROn is an experimental UCAV being developed with international cooperation, led by France, and includes government and industry partners from Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. It is the first large stealth platform to be designed in Europe. The programme aims to develop, test and sustain key technologies for use by European manufacturers in the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles and combat aircraft. The demonstrator will not enter serial production. However, additional flight testing, including a flight in Sweden during 2014, is expected.

18 Feb 13. Piaggio Aero Industries, together with Selex ES a Finmeccanica company, presented at IDEX 2013, the Piaggio Aero P.1HH “HammerHead” – Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The P.1HH “HammerHead” programme objective is the development of a multipurpose state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial System designed to meet the need for a robust and high-tech solution for Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR). The Piaggio Aero P.1HH Unmanned Aerial System includes an unmanned aircraft platform, specific mission equipment and systems and a remote Ground Control Station (GCS). After two years of development, the P.1HH “HammerHead” UAV has been rolled out and it successfully completed its first engine start and run way taxi on 14th February at an Italian Air Force base. The Piaggio Aero P.1HH – UAS first flight is scheduled for this year following the completion of the Vehicle Control & Management System integration and the ground test programme. The Piaggio Aero P.1HH aircraft features automatic take-off and landing capabilities and is able to fly at up to 45,000 feet, with an outstanding endurance of 16 flight hours. The Piaggio Aero P.1HH “Hammer Head” UAV will also be compliant with the STANAG USAR 4671 standards that enable it to fly both in restricted and unrestricted flight areas. Like the Piaggio Aero MPA – Multirole Patrol Aircraft – presented in July 2012, the Piaggio Aero P.1HH “HammerHead” unmanned aircraft – part of the P.1HH Unmanned Aerial System – is a derivative of the Piaggio Aero P.180 Avanti II platform newly designed for multi mission purposes such as aerial, land, coastal, maritime and offshore security, COMINT/ELINT missions, and electronic warfare. The P.1HH “HammerHead” unmanned aircraft’s main features are an enhanced airframe, increased aerodynamic configuration with a reinforced wing providing an increased surface and higher aspect ratio. The aerodynamic configuration is based on the development of new wings providing a 15,5 m wing span with the subsequent modification of the previous P.180 aerodynamic design but maintaining Piagg

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