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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

08 Apr 13. Liquid RoboticsĀ® announced the introduction of the Wave GliderĀ® SV3, the world’s first hybrid wave and solar propelled unmanned ocean robot. The Wave Glider SV3 incorporates the latest advancements in energy harvesting technology providing the ability to utilize both wave and solar energy for forward propulsion. These innovative propulsion and energy systems will help customers explore portions of the world’s oceans in conditions that previously were too challenging or costly to operate. Customers will now have the ability to conduct missions, 24×7, through all weather conditions, across most of the planet to help solve some of the world’s critical problems such as global climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries management, hurricane prediction, tsunami warning and exploration for valuable natural resources. The end-to-end ocean data solution provided by Liquid Robotics’ new integrated platform provides ocean data collection and processing at the point of collection with real-time delivery of critical information to shore. (Source: Yahoo!/Marketwired)

09 Apr 13. Insitu Inc. announced the successful first maritime flight of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) RQ-21A. The nearly two-hour flight launched from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) after three months of land-based development testing and operational assessment. RQ-21A is an expeditionary, no-runway solution that supports missions afloat and ashore and has demonstrated rapid payload integration to help commanders quickly adapt to emerging threats. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded the STUAS program to Insitu for its Integrator UAS in July 2010 to provide persistent maritime and land-based tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collection and dissemination capabilities. The Integrator UAS design served as the baseline for the RQ-21A UAS design. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)

08 Apr 13. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems has successfully completed the critical design review for Knifefish, the surface-mine countermeasure unmanned undersea vehicle (SMCM UUV), one month ahead of schedule. The General Dynamics team will now begin the development of the system hardware and software to integrate the approved design via the fabrication of three engineering development modules. Knifefish is an essential component of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine countermeasure (MCM) mission package, providing U.S. Navy commanders and sailors with enhanced mine-hunting capabilities. Expected to attain initial operational capability in 2017, Knifefish is the first heavyweight-class mainstream mine countermeasure (MCM) UUV that will address the Navy’s need to reliably detect and classify mines resting on the seafloor and buried mines in high-clutter environments and areas with potential for mine burial. Knifefish also gathers environmental data to provide intelligence support for other mine warfare systems. Knifefish will help greatly reduce risk to Navy personnel and ships by operating in minefields as an off-board sensor, while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. The modular, open Knifefish has been designed to integrate with both variants of LCS via the common LCS interface control document.

10 Apr 13. South Korea to restart MUAV development programme. The Republic of Korea (ROK) military is planning to restart its medium-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (MUAV) development programme in an effort to enhance surveillance of North Korean missile and nuclear programmes. An undisclosed military source was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying that the exploratory development of the MUAV was completed by scientists in late 2012. Launched by the Defense Acquisition and Procurement Agency (DAPA) in 2006, the KRW160bn ($139m) MUAV development programme launched the first prototype in May 2010, but was cancelled the subsequent year in the wake of the country’s acquisition plan

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