03 Feb 15. NGC to Start Production on Republic of Korea Global Hawks. Northrop Grumman Corporation will begin production of four RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the Republic of Korea’s Air Force. The systems will provide valuable wide-area intelligence gathering capabilities to military commanders so they can make more informed decisions. Under a contract awarded Dec. 16, the company will work closely with the U.S. Air Force to deliver the systems starting in 2018. “It’s clear that U.S. allies have seen the critical role Global Hawk plays for the U.S. Air Force around the world,” said Mary Petryszyn, vice president, International, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “The system will be a vital link in the Republic of Korea’s increasing leadership role in defending the peninsula.” The contract is for four aircraft, two ground stations and supporting equipment that allows Republic of Korea Air Force operators to control and maintain the system. “This is a significant achievement for Northrop Grumman because it represents the first time a Global Hawk has been sold to an allied nation in the Asia-Pacific region under the Foreign Military Sales process,” said Mary Petryszyn. The contract announcement follows significant procurement decisions made by the Japanese and Australian governments to purchase the Global Hawk and the MQ-4C Triton – comprising Northrop Grumman’s family of high-altitude, long-endurance UAS. (Source: ASD Network)
02 Feb 15. Turkey’s Anka Block B UAV completes maiden flight. Turkey completed the maiden flight of its Anka Block B unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on 30 January, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has announced. According to TAI the first flight included a wide degree of autonomy, with take-off, landing, and much of the flight itself being conducted by an autopilot. The Anka B is the second generation of the indigenous medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV. It is also the production standard version, with 10 Anka Block B UAVs having been ordered in October 2013 for the Turkish military. Also known as the Anka-S, the Anka B features a more expansive payload to the pre-series/basic Anka Block A. This includes a new high-definition (HD) electro optical infrared (EOIR) payload including a laser designator/laser rangefinder, an Aselsan/MilSOFT synthetic aperture radar (SAR), satellite communications (SATCOM), an encrypted datalink and an indigenous flight control computer. Turkey announced in July 2012 that it would develop an armed version of the Anka. While the Anka A was unarmed, it is unclear if the Block B aircraft will be able to carry ordnance – either currently or at a later date.
The first flight of the production-standard Anka B comes just over four years after the initial Anka prototype first flew in December 2010. The Anka programme has suffered some issues, including the crash of the first aircraft in September 2012 and some problems with the Anka A’s payload, but it now appears to be moving forward in line with a planned first delivery to the Turkish Air Force in 2016. All 10 Anka Bs are scheduled to be delivered by 2018. The Anka is one of the headline products of Turkey’s indigenous development plan, now over a decade long, overseen by the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM). Through it Turkey has looked to make itself broadly self-sufficient for defence technologies, with an additional goal of building itself into a major exporter of defence technologies. In developing and ordering the Anka, Turkey has positioned itself as the only European country to have a MALE UAV in production. With MALE UAVs currently a highly sought after military requirement, the type could well find success on the export market. This is particularly true in the lucrative Middle Eastern market where for various reasons the United States may be unwilling to export MALE UAVs and end-users may be unwilling to buy Israeli products. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Feb 15. UAE Cl