13 Feb 15. Belarus to sell drones for $4m in 2015. The Belarusian R&D centre for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies of the Physics Technology Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus expects to sell drones for some $4 million in 2015, Head of the R&D centre Yury Yatsyna said at the press conference “Innovation technologies: Unmanned aircraft systems” on 10 February. “Today the market of UAVs amounts to around $10 billion. In 2014 we earned $650,000, and this year we expect to get $4 million. This is a good result, taking into account that the center was set up just in 2011,” Yury Yatsyna noted. He believes that the production and export of such aircraft systems is a profitable business. “The production of such vehicles requires little energy and materials, but it is very science-intensive. One small drone features the best technologies. Only countries with high scientific and technological potential can manufacture them, and we have such potential,” Yury Yatsyna pointed out. The R&D centre for UAV technologies was created in 2011 as part of the program for the innovation-driven development of Belarus. The first phase of the facility to make small-range unmanned aerial vehicles was commissioned in 2012. The second phase of the facility to make UAVs with the operational range of up to 290km will be commissioned this year, said Yuri Yatsyna. The facility can make more than ten small-range UAVs per annum. Once the second phase of the facility is commissioned, it will be able to also make from five to ten long-range UAVs per annum. The R&D center for UAV technologies of the Physics Technology Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus is the CIS only enterprise certified to batch produce unmanned aerial vehicles of its own design. The center can develop and batch produce several kinds of merchandise, including compact unmanned aerial vehicles with the operational range of 25km and 50km, an environmental monitoring UAV based on a dirigible, the Burevestnik UAV as well as photosystems for UAVs and automatic control systems. (Source: UAS VISION/Belta)
12 Feb 15. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, announced the successful first endurance flight of Predator® XP, an advanced derivative of the mission-proven MQ-1 Predator RPA that has accumulated over two million flight hours since 1994. The flight launched on February 6 and landed on February 8 during a 40-plus hour flight conducted at GA-ASI’s Castle Dome Flight Operations Facility located at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz. During the flight, Predator XP validated its long-endurance capability by flying at 10,000 feet for greater than 40 hours. The RPA is a production representation aircraft designed and built on Internal Research and Development (IRAD) funds. Predator XP is currently in production, with the first production aircraft to be delivered in 2016. Predator XP is an updated version of the company’s flagship Predator RPA that has been licensed by the U.S. Government for sale to a broader customer base to include countries in the Middle East, North Africa, South America, and Asia. Beyond its long endurance, the aircraft’s advanced capabilities include a Satellite Communications (SATCOM) data link; Automatic Takeoff and Landing System (ATLS); a full-motion video camera (optical and infrared); GA-ASI’s Lynx® Multi-mode Radar with ground imaging (Synthetic Aperture Radar/ SAR), maritime surface search, and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) modes; an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for maritime patrol; and triple-redundant avionics.
09 Feb 15. Belarus to field tactical UAV this year. The Belarusian Emergencies Ministry will this year begin operating a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the Burevestnik with an operational range of up to 290km, according to Yuri Yatsyna, head