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19 Feb 13. VT Group, GSM Join Up for UAV Development. VT Group and Granite State Manufacturing have announced a strategic partnership that has the two companies taking aim at unmanned aerial vehicle technology for commercial, civil and government markets. The partnership will result in new technology expected to come to fruition this summer, according to a VT Group press release. GSM specializes in engineering and manufacturing, including air, ground and maritime unmanned systems efforts. VT Group is currently an unmanned systems service provider. The GSM partnership would mean an introduction to manufacturing for the company. (Source: AUVSI)

26 Feb 13. US NAWCAD demonstrates interoperability between UAS. The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) engineers have successfully completed evaluation of a new technology, designed to enable interoperability between unmanned air systems (UAS). Conducted jointly with US Army personnel, the testing was held by the Common Standards and Interoperability (CSI) and the Battlespace Modeling and Simulation groups (AIR 5.4.2) at Patuxent River’s UAS Integration Lab (UASIL) in Maryland, US. As part of the demonstration, the hardware sensors and stimulators were integrated to the existing suite of simulations by software engineers to develop and implement the interface. During the technology test, a UASIL operator at the Joint Technology Center/System Integration Laboratory (JTC/SIL) in Huntsville, Alabama, US, controlled a Shadow UAS sensor through the Defense Research and Engineering Network. Using the same government-developed port, the operator withdrew control of the Shadow sensor and took charge of another at the UASIL, validating its ability to enable communication with other UAS and for inclusion into future UAS. (Source: naval-technology.com)

25 Feb 13. Elbit Systems Ltd. has delivered a Hermes® 900 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to a customer in the Americas. The program includes delivery of ESL’s Hermes® 900 unmanned air vehicles, Universal Ground Control Stations (UGCS) including installation in a mission control center, advanced electro-optic systems and additional unique systems. Due to high demand, ESL has increased its UAS production activities and will soon be delivering additional Hermes® 900 systems to other international customers, ESL announced on December 31, 2012 that it was awarded a second contract to supply a wide range of Hermes® 900 UAS to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The contract, a follow-on to the initial IDF order for Hermes® 900 in 2010, calls for development of additional advanced UAS capabilities as well as UAS maintenance services. On January 27, 2013, ESL announced that it received an approximately $35m contract from the Israel Ministry of Defense (“IMOD”) for the development of advanced features for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”). One of the mission requirements is the quick re-configuration of the UAS’ payloads.

26 Feb 13. Boeing’s liquid hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system completed its second flight Feb. 25, demonstrating capabilities that will allow it to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for up to four days without refueling. During the flight, at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Phantom Eye climbed above an altitude of 8,000 feet and remained aloft for 66 minutes at a cruising speed of 62 knots before landing. The aircraft exceeded what it achieved last year during its first flight when it flew at an altitude of 4,080 feet and remained aloft for 28 minutes. Boeing is self-funding development of the environmentally responsible Phantom Eye, which generates only water as a byproduct of its propulsion system.

28 Feb 13. ADF’s Shadow TUAS to achieve full operational capability in late-2013. The Australian Defence Forces’ (ADF) RQ-7 Shadow 200 tactical unmanned aerial system (TUAS) is scheduled to achieve its full operating capab

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