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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

29 Aug 13. The Lisa/S chip is 4 square-centimeters — about the same size as a Euro coin. But this 1.9-gram sliver of silicon includes everything you need to autopilot an unmanned aircraft. It’s the world’s smallest UAS autopilot system — over 30 grams lighter than its predecessor — according to the chip’s designers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. And best of all, both the hardware and the software is open source, meaning anyone can copy and use it — for free. (Source: UAS VISION/Wired)

28 Aug 13. The Japanese government has decided to deploy the Global Hawk, an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, in fiscal 2015 to strengthen patrol and surveillance activities around Japan, government sources said. The Defence Ministry will include ¥200m in research and study expenses in its budget request for the next fiscal year, which will stipulate the introduction of the aircraft in fiscal 2015, the sources said. The ministry is in the process of choosing a site to deploy the aircraft, with particular attention on the U.S. Air Force’s Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture. The Air Self-Defence Force and the U.S. Air Force will jointly operate Global Hawk to bolster surveillance activities, according to the sources. The Global Hawk can fly at an altitude of 18 kilometers, higher than that of commercial airplanes, for more than 30 hours. It can detect the movements of ships and airplanes. The government judged it necessary to enhance deterrence with unmanned reconnaissance aircraft as there has been a surge in the number of cases in which the ASDF has scrambled fighter jets in response to moves by China’s military aircraft. The budget request will also include ¥4m in research and study expenses for the deployment of a new early warning airplane in fiscal 2015 as well as ¥1.3bn for two amphibious vehicles and ¥1.5bn for training equipment. (Source: UAS VISION/The Japan News, CCTV)

23 Aug 13. DARPA to develop unmanned undersea platforms for US Navy’s manned vessels. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a new Hydra programme, intended to help develop a distributed undersea network of unmanned payloads and platforms to complement the US Navy’s manned vessels. The Hydra programme has been designed to integrate existing and emerging technologies to build an alternate way of delivering a variety of payloads close to the point of use. DARPA programme manager Scott Littlefield said: “An unmanned technology infrastructure, staged below the oceans’ surface, could relieve some of that resource strain and expand military capabilities in this increasingly challenging space. In addition to developing and demonstrating an unmanned undersea system, the programme will provide a novel delivery mechanism for deployment of unmanned air and underwater vehicles into operational environments.Using modular payloads within a standardised enclosure, the Hydra system will allow scalable, cost-effective underwater installation of rapid response assets for the navy. The modular payloads would provide key capabilities such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and mine counter-measures (MCM). A communications suite of Hydra would enhance manned platforms effectiveness and would also enable remote control from over-the-horizon to significantly improve operational reach. Hydra will also offer new capabilities for manned platforms, such as forward-deployed airborne ISR with expendable platforms or recharging hubs for ISR-capable undersea vehicles. (Source: naval-technology.com)

26 Aug 13. Russian designers are proceeding with development of an unmanned “sixth-generation” fighter jet, former Air Force chief Pyotr Deinekin said Monday. “The sixth generation of aircraft will most likely be pilotless. Naturally, we are actively working on this,” Deinekin said in an interview with RIA Novosti. Russia will probably not be able to skip a generation and will need to complete all of its fifth-generati

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