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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

14 May 13. Germany Axes EuroHawk Drone Program. Germany has cancelled a planned “Euro Hawk” drone program over fears that European authorities will not certify them, a defense ministry source said Tuesday after reported European safety concerns. Germany had “no hope” of seeing the unmanned aircraft, part of a program that would have cost more than €1bn (US $1.3bn), approved for use, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. The European Aviation Safety Agency has said it would certify the drones only to fly over unpopulated areas because of a lack of an anti-collision system to protect airliners, according to German press reports. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)

15 May 13. A German Defense Ministry official said the military would not procure any more Euro Hawk UAVs beyond the demonstrator it already possesses, although Northrop Grumman said it has not received official confirmation that its Euro Hawk program has been cancelled. Stéphane Beemelmans, German state secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defense, said at a Wednesday press conference, “For security reasons, because we cannot license the demonstrator aircraft available to us, a Euro Hawk, and therefore do not want to operate it, and for fiscal reasons, that we therefore have procured the demonstrator as the final one of its series and won’t procure any more.” Beemelmans added, “We have tested this for so long, until we have found out that the thing cannot be configured licensable without immense additional money.”
“Germany has not notified us formally they have cancelled, terminated or any way slowed down the program,” Tom Vice, Northrop’s president of Aerospace Systems, said Wednesday. “We have received no formal feedback and we’re disappointed in what we’re seeing in the press, but we can’t speculate on any of that until we have formal discussions with the Germans.” (Source: Defense News)

14 May 13. Raytheon Company delivered two electronic attack payloads in support of the U.S. Army’s Networked Electronic Warfare, Remotely Operated (NERO) system. The payloads were delivered as part of a contract awarded by the U.S. Navy NAVSEA-Crane in 2012. NERO is utilized on the Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS as an airborne electronic attack system capable of jamming enemy communications systems. The NERO system builds on the success of the Army’s Communications Electronic Attack with Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CEASAR) program. By migrating the same pod system and advanced capability to the Gray Eagle, NERO is capable of two- to three-times longer missions with reduced operating costs compared with the current C-12 based CEASAR system. It also reduces risk to the warfighter by being mounted onto an unmanned platform. CEASAR, first awarded in 2010, was mounted onto a Beechcraft King Air C-12 aircraft and uses the same lightweight pod as NERO. Both systems enable the Army to control use of the electromagnetic spectrum by providing beyond line of sight jamming capability to support ground troop operations. CEASAR and NERO counter military and commercial communication systems in today’s operations and are adaptable to counter the next generation of enemy threats.

15 May 13. Saab has verified a number of key capabilities of its Skeldar V-200 vertical lift UAS through flight campaigns at different sites in US and Sweden demonstrating the system’s performance for both land and sea based operations. A number of successful customer demonstration flights have also been conducted. High complexity flight envelopes such as fully autonomous flights were conducted in both day and night conditions demonstrating convoy shadowing capability, EO/IR sensor utilization, precision landing as well as long range missions using Tactical Hand-Over between Ground Control Stations using Saab’s flexible stationary and mobile ground control station. In addition, a heavy fuel engine has now been verified through extensive flight trials and an upgraded next generation version of th

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