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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

24 May 06. Elbit Systems Ltd. announced the successful test flight of the Skylark Mini UAV at 15,000 feet altitude. The high altitude flight demonstration was part of a larger evaluation conducted by a potential customer. The Skylark was launched from a mountaintop at an altitude of 13,785 feet (4.5 Kilometers) and operating in autonomous flight mode climbed to a cruising altitude exceeding 15,000 feet. At the end of the test flight the Skylark performed a perfect automatic landing at the designated point of recovery on the rocky mountain. The flawless take-off, cruise and landing in an altitude where the air density is less than 60% of the sea level atmosphere and the wind gusts are known to be dangerous for any airborne platform were testament to Skylark’s ruggedness and reliability. The high altitude test was part of a successful series of evaluation flights which included performance in day and night operational scenarios. Previously, in other system evaluations, Skylark demonstrated flawless performance in extreme temperatures ranging from –17 to +50 degrees and under cloudy and rainy conditions. The Skylark, advanced mini-UAV, is a unique man-pack configuration designed for day and night observation and data collection “beyond the hill” up to distances of 10 km. The mini-UAV system is equipped with an exceptionally quiet electric motor, totally autonomous flight and outstanding observation capabilities allowing for easy operation and orientation. The system can be launched by soldiers after a brief training period. The Skylark system enhances ground forces’ tactical performance in various mission scenarios.

22 May 06. Foster-Miller Inc., Waltham, Mass., is being awarded a $63,919,415 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for operator and technician training, Talon spare parts, and new robots for the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office for use by the Joint Robotics Repair Facilities and imbedded repair teams deployed in support of contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. Work will be performed in Waltham, Mass., and is expected to be completed in May 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61339-06-D-0013).

24 May 06. Northrop Grumman Systems, Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems,San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $60,621,200 fixed-price-incentive, firm target contract. This action provides for long lead parts/advance procurement for the following low rate initial production lot 6 items: five RQ-4B Air Vehicles; three mission control elements; three launch recovery elements, support segment-support equipment and initial spares. At this time, total funds have been obligated. Solicitations began February 2006 and negotiations
were complete in May 2006. This work will be complete March 2007.
Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-06-C-3002).

17 May 2006Teledyne Brown offers Prospector for FCS. US firm Teledyne Brown is offering a version of the German KZO unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to international customers and another to the US Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) programme, company officials have said. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

23 May 06. The first fleet of the indigenously built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle “Nishant” will be delivered to the Army by mid-2007. The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) conducted the UAV’s 106th flight trial, which included a successful launch and recovery exercise. The Indian Army has already placed orders for the UAV with the Bangalore-based ADE, and the first fleet will be delivered by the middle of next year.

22 May 06. Bental Industries Ltd., Israel’s Motion Systems House for defense and commercial applications, offers all the on-

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