24 Jun 13. Sierra Nevada Corporation successfully completed its second airborne demonstration for the Air Force Research Lab under its Multi Sensor Detect Sense and Avoid (MSDSA) program using a prototype radar sensor. This new Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA) sensor, utilized on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), repeatedly detected and tracked airborne intruders resulting in over 60 seconds of avoidance time, exceeding the program requirements. The ABSAA provides unparalleled performance with its sense and avoid capability. For more than 50 years, SNC has led radar innovation and modernized radar technology development for aircraft navigation, precision approach and automatic landing systems, and now the UAV Sense and Avoid program. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
21 Jun 13. LCS Remote Minehunting System Completes Reliability Testing. The Navy successfully concluded the second and final phase of reliability testing of the littoral combat ship (LCS) remote minehunting system (RMS) off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla., enabling the service to progress toward developmental testing, the Navy announced June 20. The remote minehunting system, consisting of a semi-submersible remote multi-mission vehicle (RMMV) operating with the AN/AQS-20A variable depth mine-hunting sonar, was designed to detect, classify, identify and locate bottom and moored mines in shallow and deep water. The RMS will provide the Navy the capability to keep ships and sailors out of the minefield, and will be deployed from the littoral combat ship (LCS) as part of the ship’s mine countermeasures mission package. The system completed more than 850 hours of testing during 47 missions over a four-month period. The tests, conducted at the Lockheed Martin facilities at Riviera Beach, Fla., included participation by sailors from the Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Mine Countermeasures Detachment who assisted with both mission operations and vehicle maintenance, and engineers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, who supported all aspects of the testing. The tests validated reliability improvements made to the RMMV design in this increment and demonstrated the required reliability necessary to meet program requirements. (Source: ASD Network)
23 Jun 13. Despite a last-minute plea for European governments to finally collaborate on a common medium-altitude UAV, the solution that regional industry had been hoping to avoid — the US-made Reaper — seemed to take on an air of inevitability at the Paris Air Show last week. Reaper-maker General Atomics said at the show that it would make efforts to “Europeanize” the Reaper and partially fund a continental user group as it took steps to seal deals with the Netherlands and Germany. Italy and the UK are already in the Reaper club, soon to be joined by France.
One day before the show launched, France’s Dassault, Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi and EADS Cassidian jointly called for the launch of a European medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) program, claiming it would pool resources, allow for the incorporation of emerging European certification requirements and safeguard jobs and know-how while guaranteeing “European sovereignty and independence in the management of information and intelligence.” The letter followed French plans to acquire two General Atomics Reaper UAVs to deploy in Mali — in the face of a last ditch offer from Israel Aerospace Industries to supply two Heron 1s — followed by a possible order for 10 further Reapers. (Source: Open Source Information Report/ Defense News)
24 Jun 13. The UAS experts of Israel Aerospace Industries used the Paris air show to further evaluate the market for UAS powered by heavy fuel. According to Shaul Shahar General Manager of IAI’s Malat UAS division the company plans to adapt its Heron UAS to fly with heavy fuel. Shahar said that the planned test will be used to understand the full operational meaning of such a change. “Heavy fuel is an option because clients want