04 Mar 13. Turkey is preparing to sign a contract for 10 locally made UAV systems dubbed the Anka, procurement authorities said. They did not specify a contract price. Murad Bayar, Turkey’s chief procurement official, told reporters that a final round of talks for the contract involving the 10 UAVs and their ground control stations is underway. He said the contract would be signed in the next couple of months.
This will mark Turkey’s first purchase of UAVs designed, developed and manufactured indigenously. Bayar promised the Anka would incorporate “progressive design and features.” Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), maker of the Anka, said the UAV had successfully passed acceptance tests late in January. TAI officials said the final, decisive tests on Jan. 20-21 involved a full endurance, 18-hour flight, a successful auto landing, data link performance at a distance of 200 kilometers under winds up to 45 knots, and night takeoffs and landings. The Anka has registered 140 flight hours. (Source: Defense News)
03 Mar 13. Domestic Drones Are Already Reshaping U.S. Crime-Fighting. As U.S. authorities grapple with how to regulate the use of unarmed drones in U.S. skies, a small network of police, first responders and experts is already flying unmanned aircraft. These operators say rapidly evolving drone technology is already reshaping disaster response, crime scene reconstruction, crisis management and tactical operations. Critics of U.S. domestic drone use worry about privacy and safety. Several dozen local police departments, federal agencies and universities have special FAA permits to fly drones in U.S. airspace. (Source: glstrade.com/Reuters)
25 Feb 13. U.S. Navy technology may allow in-flight conversion from helicopter to fixed wing. Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing unmanned aircraft technology that will allow the conversion from a vertical take-off and landing system to a fixed-wing craft during in-flight operation. The conversion capability will provide the take-off and landing flexibility of a helicopter with the longer range, higher speeds and lower wear and tear of an airplane. The technology demonstrator is referred to as the Stop-Rotor Rotary Wing Aircraft. It is capable of cruising at about 100 knots, weighs less than 100 pounds and can carry a 25-pound intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) or electronic warfare payload, such as the Expendable, Mobile Anti-submarine warfare Training Target (EMATT). “We decided to do a demonstration vehicle that could carry an EMATT. It’s like a little submarine that can generate sonar signals, and it’s for training anti-submarine warfare operators,” explains Steven Tayman, an aerospace engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory. “It’s a neat payload.” The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes a removable payload bay that is about 12 inches wide, 38 inches long and six inches deep with “bomb bay doors” for dropping payloads, such as sonobuoys. “You could use a UAV to deploy a sonobuoy field, which would be pretty exciting,” Tayman says. “There’s really no limit to the payload other than volume.” (Source: UNMANNED/UAV News)
05 Mar 13. Gray Eagle completes initial operational testing, evaluation. The U.S. Army’s Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system recently completed a successful initial operational testing and evaluation at the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. During the initial operational testing and evaluation, or IOT&E, the Gray Eagle platform was operated from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and employed in an operational and realistic way in support of a brigade combat team rotation at NTC, explained John Moltenberry, military test plans analyst, U.S. Army Operational Test Command, Army Test and Evaluation Command. The basic thrust of the IOT&E is to assess the degree to which a given platform or technology meets its designated requirements, typically as a way to inform anticipated full-rate production de