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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

Apr 06. Lockheed Martin, Textron Offer Weapons Designs For Unmanned Aircraft. Companies, including Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Textron [TXT], are stepping forward with innovative weapons concepts to support the Air Force’s emerging interest in bomb and missile designs that are tailored for use from tactical unmanned aircraft, according to industry officials. The Air Force issued a call to industry in December 2005 for information on innovative precision-guided surface-attack weapons, 100 pounds or smaller, that could be carried on currently fielded unmanned aerial systems (UAS) like General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-1 and MQ-9 Predators and the Army’s MQ-5 Hunter, built by Northrop Grumman [NOC]. It also wanted the weapons designs to factor UAS in development like the former’s Warrior Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) platform being built for the Army, as well as smaller platforms.
Among the performance parameters, the Air Force asked for weapons systems capable of being deployed at altitudes up to 30,000 feet and able to provide close air support in complex terrain and urban canyons. It also wanted the option for these systems to be integrated into a battlefield command-and-control network. (Source: Defense Daily)

12 Apr 06. Boeing has demonstrated for the first time the ability of an AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter to control a UAV weapon payload. Boeing demonstrated the capability in February at its Mesa, Ariz., facility, home of both Apache helicopter production and the company’s Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) UAV technology demonstrator used in the milestone test. During the test, the Apache Longbow, the AMUST-D aircraft, took control and commanded multiple payloads on the unmanned aircraft, an A/MH-6 derivative in development by Boeing. The Apache was on the ground during this engineering phase of remote weapons control while the ULB was several miles away. Testers used the Apache’s newly developed UAV weapon page to perform the standard Hellfire missile firing sequence on the ULB demonstrator through the existing co-pilot station without hardware modifications. Both aircraft feature L3 Communications’ tactical common data link equipment and technologies. (Source: Shephard)

18 Apr 06. Pyramid Vision, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarnoff Corporation, unveiled the second generation of its TerraSight(TM) product suite, a cutting-edge, real-time video exploitation software package designed specifically to meet the demands of our armed forces in the field. For military planners and troops in combat, TerraSight(TM) is the only solution that provides real-time situational awareness of up to eight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) video streams overlaid on 3-D terrain. TerraSight(TM) helps correct UAV system inaccuracies, which in turn can then be linked to targeting systems. With more than 50 patents covering its core technology, TerraSight(TM) v1.1 provides increased operator capability and enhanced analysis aids.

12 Apr 06. The U.S. Air Force’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities have grown as Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered another RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV to the service on April 5. “The Northrop Grumman team worked vigilantly to help the Air Force deploy two Global Hawks this January,” said Jerry Madigan, who leads Northrop Grumman’s High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) systems. “At the same time, we have worked hard to ensure the successful delivery of this Global Hawk. Now, we are looking forward to completing the final assembly and first flight of the next-generation, enhanced-version Global Hawk this year. This next-generation Global Hawk will be able to carry 1,000 pounds more payload than the current version, which fulfills one of our customer’s most important requirements.” The seventh RQ-4 Global Hawk is scheduled for delivery to the Air Force this summer. The Navy acquired two RQ-4’s for their Maritime Demonstration Program. (Source: Shephard)

17 Apr 06. Headwall Photonics anno

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