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07 Feb 14. Lockheed Martin and AeroVironment to Pursue Joint Opportunities in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Markets. AeroVironment, Inc. and Lockheed Martin announced on Thursday an agreement to jointly pursue opportunities in unmanned aircraft system (UAS) development.
“At Lockheed Martin, we look forward to partnering with AeroVironment to potentially develop integrated solutions for the unmanned systems market,” said Paul Lemmo, Lockheed Martin Senior Vice-President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development. “Using our expertise in systems integration and AeroVironment’s knowledge of unmanned aircraft solutions, we will together look for opportunities to develop innovative technologies that create value for new and existing customers.”
“Numerous customers are seeking persistent solutions for wide area applications, such as border surveillance and communications, that are much more affordable than those available previously,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment Senior Vice-President and General Manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Lockheed Martin’s broad systems integration expertise gives us the opportunity to work together and develop innovative, end-to-end atmospheric satellite systems built around Global Observer that deliver breakthrough capabilities to customers.” (Source: UAS VISION)

07 Feb 14. Russian-Built Searcher UAS Delivered to Air Force. The Russian Air Force has received six ‘Outpost’ (Searcher-II) UAS. The platoon will be based in RAF’s air base in Kamchatka and will perform tactical reconnaissance sorties in the region. The ‘Outpost’ UAS is manufactured by UZGA (“Ural Plant of Civilian Aviation”) at its Nizhny Tagil factory, under license from IAI. (Source: UAS VISION/iHLS)

05 Feb 14. The UK MOD and BAE Systems have revealed that Taranis, the stealthy unmanned combat vehicle demonstrator and the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers, surpassed all expectations during its first flight trials last year. Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, made its maiden flight at an undisclosed test range on Saturday 10th August 2013, under the command of BAE Systems’ test pilot Bob Fraser. The demonstrator aircraft made a perfect take-off, rotation, ‘climb-out’ and landing on its 15 minute first flight. A number of flights took place last year, of up to one hour in duration and at a variety of altitudes and speeds. The details were revealed at a briefing held in London. The Taranis demonstrator is the result of one-and-a-half-million man hours of work by the UK’s leading scientists, aerodynamicists and systems engineers from 250 UK companies. The aircraft has been designed to demonstrate the UK’s ability to create an unmanned air system which, under the control of a human operator, is capable of undertaking sustained surveillance, marking targets, gathering intelligence, deterring adversaries and carrying out strikes in hostile territory. The findings from the aircraft’s flight prove that the UK has developed a significant lead in understanding unmanned aircraft which could strike with precision over a long range whilst remaining undetected. The technological advances made through Taranis will also help the UKMOD and Royal Air Force make decisions on the future mix of manned and unmanned fast jet aircraft and how they will operate together in a safe and effective manner for the UK’s defences. Costing £185m and funded jointly by the UK MOD and UK industry, the Taranis demonstrator aircraft was formally unveiled in July 2010 but only a very limited number of scientists and engineers have ever been given full access to the top secret aircraft. Initial ‘power-up’ or ground testing commenced later in 2010 at BAE Systems’ military aircraft factory in Warton, Lancashire followed by a comprehensive and highly detailed programme of pre-first flight milestones including unmanned pilot training, radar cross section measurements, ground station system integration and, in April 2013

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