12 Jun 13. There’s a new Fire Scout in the pipeline — bigger, faster, longer legs, more muscle. It’s still being assembled and won’t fly until later this year, but it’s headed for the fleet as soon as late 2014. And it could fundamentally change some of the parameters expected of the US Navy’s seagoing unmanned helicopter program.
The MQ-8 Fire Scout program has been under development for about a decade. A key factor for the aircraft was its small size, making it exceptionally handy to store and operate aboard ship. The Navy often presents the diminutive Northrop Grumman aircraft as taking up about half the space of the H-60 Seahawk helos routinely deployed on surface combatants. And frigates are deploying with four MQ-8B Fire Scouts. Littoral combat ships are intended to routinely deploy with one or two Fire Scouts in addition to an H-60. (Source: Defense News)
12 Jun 13. Spain aims to open unmanned aerial systems testing centre by end of year. A new unmanned air system (UAS) testing centre with its own reserved airspace for remotely-piloted technology, the first of its kind in Spain, is expected to be operating by the end of this year.
Ground work has started on the ATLAS (Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced unmanned Systems) complex in Villacarrillo in Jaen, which will link in with nearby aerospace clusters in Cadiz and Seville.
The body behind the project, the Andalucia regional government’s Centro Avanzado de Technologias Aeroespaciales (CATEC), said on 7 June that it will position the region in the frontline of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.
“ATLAS will offer the international aeronautical community the first permanent scientific and technological installation for carrying out safely trials, simulations and validations of UAV applicable technologies and air traffic management,” said CATEC.
“As well as fomenting new avant garde technology it will contribute to making Andalucian and national companies in the aeronautical sector more competitive.
“Putting it into operation will also provide important support for investigation into unmanned flights in the civil arena and to the work that has been going on in recent years in various institutions and technological centres linked with the aeronautical sector in Andalucia,” the company added.(Source: Jane’s)
12 Jun 13. Elbit Systems EW and Sigint – Elisra will launch at the Paris Air Show a self protection Electronic Warfare (EW) system, well suited for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Improving the UAS’ survivability, the SPS-65V5 system is based on Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT – Elisra’s (“Elisra”) vast experience in the development of systems installed onboard other platforms such as fighters, helicopters and utility aircraft, already in operational use by the Israeli Air Force and other customers worldwide. The UAS Self Protection system is based on the modular SPS65-V5, allowing for the addition/removal of capabilities based on the operational requirements set by the user and mission restrictions. The system is adjusted to UAS use in terms of Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) and it can be installed onboard a variety of UAS platforms, ranging from tactical to HALE. (Source: Open Source Information Report/UAS VISION)
10 Jun 13. DRDO to develop robotic soldiers for futuristic warfare. The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is currently
working on development of robotic soldiers to boost the country’s unmanned fighting capabilities for future combat operations. Adding India to a select list of countries pursuing similar endeavour, the robots are expected to be manufactured with a very high level of intelligence to enable identification between a threat and an ally. DRDO chief Avinash Chander was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying in an interview that the robots will feature very high level of intelligence than actually what is currently available. The platform is expected to need guidance from a human operator to identif