10 Jul 13. Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy have completed the first arrested landing of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) carrier demonstration aircraft on the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The Northrop Grumman-built aircraft landed at 12:23 p.m. Eastern time while the aircraft carrier was under way off the coast of Virginia, and marks the latest and most significant achievement for the program during carrier sea trials, which began in May.
“Today’s historic carrier landing and our operations aboard USS George H.W. Bush show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that tailless unmanned aircraft can integrate seamlessly and operate safely from an aircraft carrier at sea,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager. “Beyond X-47B, this moment in history was made possible by an extremely disciplined and dedicated government-industry team that took a brand new unmanned combat air system from initial concept to highly successful demonstration in one of the most demanding operating environments in the world.”
The X-47B aircraft took off from Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md., July 10. A mission operator aboard the carrier took control of the aircraft and monitored the flight operations, which included several planned precision approaches in preparation for the first arrested landing. During the testing, the X-47B completed the 35 minute journey from Pax River to the carrier and caught the three-wire with the aircraft’s tailhook. The arrested landing effectively brought the aircraft from approximately 145 knots to stop in less than 350 feet.
10 Jul 13. The Israel Air Force, battling manpower shortages and budget restraints, has been building a fleet based on unmanned aircraft systems. Officials said the Air Force has been rapidly building a UAS fleet at the expense of manned aircraft. They said the Air Force has reached a point in which more than 50 percent of flights were conducted by UAS as part of reconnaissance and other missions. Officials said Israel has been developing UAS for a range of missions. They said the platforms have saved on fuel, pilot training, maintenance while achieving a
greater level of stealth. Officials said the use of UAS would increase as the military was ordered to cut its budget. They said the Army, Navy and Air Force would conduct reconnaissance mostly through UAS, which would eventually also fulfill logistics and combat requirements. Western diplomatic sources said Israel was also employing combat UAS, meant to fire light air-to-ground missiles. In 2013, an Israeli official confirmed the use of combat UAS, and Shoham said he envisioned the use of unmanned platforms that could both conduct reconnaissance as well as fire missiles. (Source: UAS VISION)
09 Jul 13. ReconRobotics, Inc. has passed the 4,000 robots sold plateau, making it the second largest producer of military and police robots in the world. Recent sales of Throwbot® XT and Recon Scout® XL micro-robots to police agencies in Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, New York, California, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands pushed the company over this significant milestone. The only company that has sold more military and police robots is iRobot, which reports 5,000 robots sold and began selling its Packbot® in 2001, six years before ReconRobotics entered the market. Among the users of the company’s systems are the U.S. military and allied friendly forces, and more than 800 police and counterterrorism teams, worldwide. The company’s Recon Scout® XL and Throwbot® XT robots protect operators by providing immediate situational awareness and greater standoff distance during high-risk operations. These capabilities protect personnel from hidden threats, enhance mission planning and execution, and minimize collateral damage. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
09 Jul 13. Georgian President Saakashvili said on July 5 that unmanned surveillance aircraft, which his government bought from Israel befor