13 Nov 13. BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation have submitted proposals to the British and French governments to jointly develop an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator, according to the UK Defence Ministry.
The companies recently completed a 15-month preparation phase contract awarded by the two nations’ defense ministries, and have now lodged details of a plan to mature and demonstrate critical technology and operational aspects for a future combat air system. British defense procurement minister Philip Dunne and his French counterpart, Laurent Collet-Billon, head of the Direction Générale de l’Armement, will consider the proposals during a mid-December meeting. A French source said the meeting is “important” and part of a dialogue between the two governments aimed at a contract award for the next phase of work in
2014. “A decision is not expected at the [December] meeting,” the French source said.The high-level working group, which includes other high-level officials, will study the industry proposals for the planned program, along with other bilateral cooperation issues. Britain and France signed a defense treaty in 2010, which included plans to collaborate on a number of equipment programs across missiles, UAVs, maritime equipment and other sectors. (Source: Defense News)
08 Nov 13. 14 Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean Now Deploy UAS. Santiago Canton, an Argentine lawyer said at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean now deploy UAS or have already purchased them. Others have hosted American UAS. “The Argentinean army has developed its own UAS technology for aerial surveillance. Brazil is the country of Latin America that has the highest number of UAS, both produced nationally and purchased outside the country,” Canton said. “Bolivia has just purchased UAS for its air force, and it has signed an agreement with Brazil to have Brazilian UAS identify coca-producing areas. Chile has sophisticated UAS and they’ve bought Iranian ones for their borders and for surveillance throughout their country. “In addition to joint exercises with the United States, Colombians have manufactured and purchased (UAS) and used their own technologies. They use them for their borders, operations against the FARC and also for intelligence gathering. The Ecuadorean army has purchased them and is using its own technology to develop them and use them on its border with Colombia.” (Source: UAS VISION/McClitchy DC
12 Nov 13. U.S. Navy Restarts X-47B Trials Aboard Roosevelt Carrier. The U.S. Navy showcased what one senior officer said was the “sausage being made during test and evaluation” this past weekend as one of its Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) Demonstrators experienced an anomaly during a media tour aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The anomaly was resolved quickly with a 90-min. reboot of the Northrop Grumman-built air vehicle, after which operators conducted a catapult launch and wave-off procedure before an arrested landing back on deck. The service is two days into an “at-sea” period for a newly approved round of carrier trials designed to test the single-engine, stealthy X-47B’s performance in off-nominal conditions, such as high winds or off-axis winds over the carrier deck. Ultimately, officials are looking to evaluate performance at winds of 28-36 kt. Though tail number 502 eventually flew, its first attempt was perturbed by a wireless communication problem between the on-deck controller’s arm-mounted CDU and the air vehicle. The aircraft taxied to the catapult as planned, based on commands by the controller, but operators were unable to command it to exceed flight idle power, which is required for takeoff. The crew switched out arm-mounted controllers to a backup and switched out the power supply on one, but they were still unable on the first attempt to suitably control the aircraft. This prompted operators to surmise the fault was within the