16 Dec 14. Kratos evaluates two new unmanned aerial drone and target systems. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has successfully completed a series of test and demonstration flights for two models of its high-performance unmanned aerial drone and target systems. Undertaken by Kratos Unmanned Systems Division (KUSD) at a government range facility, the multiple flight missions included a number of high-performance, high and low-altitude manoeuvres, as well as the deployment of countermeasure systems, tow target systems, and the engagement of missile and radar system assets. KUSD president Jerry Beaman said: “We believe that these successful flights, in addition to satisfying existing customer requirements, will result in a number of new opportunities for our company, including several with potential new international customers.” Kratos Defense & Security Solutions president and chief executive officer Eric DeMarco said: “These recent successful flights of our high-performance unmanned aircraft represent important progress for our company’s unmanned systems initiative. “Additionally, we recently received a number of important unmanned drone or target system contract awards… and our new unmanned combat aerial system (UCAS) or unmanned tactical aerial platform (UTAP) remains on track for test and demonstration flights in the second half of 2015.” The trials were attended by a number of government and customer personnel, including potential new international customers. Tests also included demonstration of certain new capabilities for one of Kratos’ latest high-performance aircraft, including the deployment of towed target systems.
16 Dec 14. An unmanned Robotic Firefighting System, the DOK-ING MVF 5, has arrived in the UK to take part in a series of trials, demonstrations and displays to the UK emergency services. The first outing for MVF 5 was as the base for a CBRNe reconnaissance concept demonstrator at the VXIII International CBRN conference recently held at Shrivenham. The MVF 5 has been developed by DOK-ING, the Croatian Robotic Vehicle company. The company also produces humanitarian mine clearance, combat and civil engineering and confined space digging vehicles that deal with violent and dangerous incidents in critical national infrastructure, underground, oil, explosive and similar facilities. With its size, power and attached “ripper gripper” MVF 5 is able to deal with hazmat events where the deployment of fire and rescue service personnel close to the incident is too dangerous to contemplate. The 12 ton tracked MVF 5 features a remote control system that can be managed from a small hand held box similar to a game controller or a fully equipped command centre up to 1500m line of sight away from the fire or other event. Carrying 2000l of water and 500l of foam MVF 5 can be deployed into the heart of a fire or other hazardous incident and fight the fire, cool hazardous devices such as gas cylinders, decontaminate items needing this, rip open closed containers allowing access or pull things such as vehicles or gas cylinders from the scene. The MVF5 will be controlled by DOK-ING’s UK representative Lutra Associates Limited and based at Tactical HazMat Ltd in Evesham. The unit will be available for demonstrations and trials mainly at Tactical HazMat’s facility but will also be taking part in centralised demonstrations. In addition the unit will be available to be leased and deployed by fire services should the need arise.
15 Dec 14. The U.S. Coast Guard, in conjunction with Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy, flew the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter off the national security cutter (NSC), USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750), Dec. 5 off the coast of Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu. The MQ-8B Fire Scout was controlled and operated from a Fire Scout control station located on the Bertholf by Navy pilots and Coast Guard personnel. Unmanned Aerial Systems have the poten