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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

03 Jun 13. Using a UAV to observe a target, then using it to take part in the missile guidance chain, it would be possible for a missile system to engage targets whose line of sight from the launcher is obscured by buildings or terrain, without the need for the post-launch acquisition of the target by the missile seeker, a team consisting of MBDA-F and MBDA-UK believes. Developed under the PLOS Project (Proxy Line of Sight) Programme being conducted under the French/UK Materials and Components for Missiles Innovation and Technology Partnership (MCM ITP), this would meet today’s rules of engagement, which require that the missile operator has continuous ‘eyes on target’ from initial target recognition to the moment of missile impact. With PLOS guidance, the missile would use an imager on a UAV or other third-party asset to perform a command-to-line-of-sight (CLOS) engagement against a target not visible from the launcher. The two guidance concepts have been studied. One is based around current second-generation anti-tank weapons, so could re-use a current system, but the second is based around the fourth-generation technology likely to be used by future missile systems. (Source: Jane’s)

03 Jun 13. Venezuela has launched a UAS produced with Iran’s technical assistance in an effort to step up the fight against drug trafficking in the Latin American country. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made the announcement during a ceremony, stating that the UAS will be used to monitor Venezuela’s borders. Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in January 2012 that his country had manufactured its first unmanned aircraft system (UAS), dubbed Arpia-001 (Harpy-001), in cooperation with Iranian experts. The UAS has a 100-kilometer (60-mile) sweep and can fly solo for some 90 minutes and reach an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,000 feet), press tv reported. Early in May, Iran displayed its most advanced Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) designed and manufactured by the country’s engineers. The stealth UAS, named Hemaseh (Epic), was unveiled in a special ceremony in the presence of Defence Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi. (Source: Open Source Information Report/ UAS VISION)

06 Jun 13. An upgraded micro aerial vehicle that uses GPS and built-in autopilot to provide quick and easy situational awareness in virtually any environment is being introduced by Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) of Randolph, Vermont, U.S.A. The Nighthawk™ Micro UAV can be hand or tube launched to provide day or night target assessment and tracking surveillance with a range of 10 km, 60 minutes flying time, and is silent from an altitude of 91 m. Featuring “point & click” waypoint navigation and automatic return to base, it can carry forward- and side-looking video cameras and a side looking thermal imager to provide real-time situational awareness. Capable of automatic “fly to cue” eyes on target when used with ARA’s E-UGS unattended ground sensors, the Nighthawk™ Micro UAV is offered with a tube launch capability, weighs 0.86 kg, has a 0.66 m wingspan and stores in a 15 cm tube with no assembly required prior to use. Hundreds of previous models of this fourth generation Micro UAV have been used by the U.S. Military in combat. Applications include military, law enforcement, prisons, border patrol and securing critical infrastructure. The Nighthawk™ Micro UAV is priced from (US) $29,299.00 and ground controller from (US) $15,495.00; subject to ITAR.

07 Jun 13. 3W-International has announced a new range of 2-stroke, Twin Spark heavy fuel engines for the UAV industry. The range comprises 10 engines designed to increase reliability and reduce fuel consumption by 20%, compared with gasoline engines of the same class. With over 25 years experience in designing and producing high quality 2-stroke engines, 3W’s new line of heavy fuel engines are equipped with a modified air intake system, fuel injection, patented 3W-muffler and patented pre-heating crank

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