05 Nov 14. Thales and Finmeccanica – Selex ES start work on UK-French Future Combat Air System sensor requirements. On November 5th, Laurent Collet-Billon, head of the French defence procurement agency (DGA), and
Bernard Gray, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Chief of Defence Materiel, launched the feasibility phase of the FCAS (Future Combat Air System) programme to carry out the system definition of an Anglo-French remotely-piloted combat aircraft. The total value of the feasibility phase contract led by BAE Systems and Dassault is €150m (£120m). As part of the feasibility phase, Thales and Finmeccanica – Selex ES have been awarded contracts to lead, specify and define the FCAS’s multifunction sensor suite and communications sub-systems. During this two year contract, the two European leaders will collaborate in a 50/50 work share. In addition to specifying the future aircraft’s sensor and communications systems, the companies will define the sensor suite and communication roadmaps and identify the costs associated with producing an operational FCAS. The cooperation also includes joint technology maturation activities to inform the design activities. The two companies will involve other sectors of UK and French industry as appropriate. In the airborne sensors domain, Thales and Finmeccanica – Selex ES are partners of choice of Ministries of Defence in the UK and France as well as of BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation. The agreement therefore creates an unmatched European force in defence electronics that will pave the way towards Britain and France being able to operate remotely-piloted combat aircraft effectively in high threat environments. By providing innovative sensor solutions, the companies sustain and develop sovereign technologies and a critical skills base in the UK and in France that will be of benefit to both manned and unmanned combat platforms.
03 Nov 14. Turkish Tactical Drone Ready for Delivery. The Bayraktar, a tactical drone developed by two privately owned Turkish companies, Kale and Baykar, is ready for delivery to the Turkish military, procurement officials said. The first Bayraktar could be delivered before the end of the year, and the initial batch of six drones will have been delivered in the first half of 2015, they said. The Bayraktar went through its first fully automatic flight test at a military airport in Kesan in northwestern Turkey April 29. The Bayraktar flew for three hours at an altitude of 18,750 feet. On June 14, the drone reached an altitude of 27,000 feet and flew for six-and-a-half hours. Kale-Baykar’s contract with the Turkish government requires an altitude of 18,000 feet. And finally, the drone flew at an altitude of 18,000 feet for 24.5 hours. The Bayraktar features indigenous software and electronic systems, according to the producer. Its maximum take-off payload is 650 kilograms. The initial contract is for six aircraft, two ground stations, three ground terminals, two remote sensor terminals and two different camera systems. Kale-Baykar boasts that under the Bayraktar program, the consortium developed various critical systems in drone technology, including a flight control with three back-up systems, inertial navigation and GPS systems, static pilot system, power control unit, a lithium-based smart battery, aerial data recording computer, video link system, tail camera, ground control station and command-and-control software. Military officials familiar with drone systems say Bayraktar would be a preferred solution especially in operations in Turkey’s southeast because of its ‘exceptional quietness.’ The Turkish military often uses drones in the country’s southeast where a Kurdish insurgency has claimed nearly 40,000 lives since 1984.(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
05 Nov 14. Australia to use Heron as Training Bridge to MQ-4C Triton. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will continue operating two Israel Aerospace Industries’ Heron unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) until the