26 Feb 15. Schiebel on Show at UMEX/IDEX. Schiebel kicked off its series of seven air shows this year with the Camcopter S-100 on display at its stand at UMEX/IDEX in Abu Dhabi. Further exhibitions are planned later in the year at the Lima Airshow, the Naval Surveillance Requirements Show in Portsmouth, England, IDEF, SOFIC, the Paris Airshow and DSEI. Also on display is the ADASI S-100 Al Sabr. The Al Sabr system development was initiated in 2003 to answer a requirement of the UAE Armed Forces. The platform for Al Sabr, the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 was developed under a joint programme between the UAE Government and Austria. The Al Sabr system is based on a fully autonomous vertical take-off and landing platform, providing a live video feed within a radius of 180 km from the ground control station, as well as an ability to remain airborne for up to 10 hours. The footprint of the system is limited to two trucks (the Ground Control Station and a Transport Vehicle). The aerial vehicles are integrated with ground systems to provide real time information and communication, thus offering surveillance without risking the lives of military personnel. (Source: UAS VISION)
24 Feb 15. Australia seeks input on US Navy Triton UAS. A senior defense procurement official said Australia is looking to enter into an agreement with the US Navy in order to influence future development of the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime unmanned aerial system. In 2014, the coalition government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that it would acquire up to seven MQ-4C air vehicles for the Royal Australian Air Force, with the exact number of platforms and timing to be informed by a coming defense white paper and Defence Capability Plan, due to be released in the middle of this year. Australia had been a cooperative partner in the design and development phase of the Triton between 2006 and 2009, but this agreement lapsed. A decision on the formal purchase of the MQ-4C is expected in 2016. Group Capt. Guy Adams, director of unmanned aerial systems for the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), Australia’s military procurement agency, said that experience gained through ongoing cooperation with the US Navy on the Boeing P-8A Poseidon program has driven a similar requirement for Triton.
“The RAAF will buy the integrated functional level capability level four Triton, which will be the US Navy standard production version at that time and we are looking at entering into a co-operative development program with the US Navy, so Australia may have the ability to influence the future design and development of the program as it develops,” Adams said at the Australian International Airshow at the Avalon Airport.
“We would try to do that; [what] we’ve seen out of the P-8A program certainly indicates it is a worthwhile activity.”
The US Air Force flew an RQ-4B Global Hawk into Avalon immediately before the start of the show, marking the first time the unmanned platform had been flown into a civilian airport in Australia.
“This is the first time that a Global Hawk has flown into an international air show,” said Ian Irving, chief executive for Northrop Grumman Australia. “This really speaks to the maturity and reliability of the system. As the Royal Australian Air Force seeks to procure the MQ-4C Triton UAS, a variant based on Global Hawk, they will be able to use the system’s capabilities to transform the way they conduct maritime surveillance missions.” (Source: Defense News)
23 Feb 15. Drones to be Mass-Produced in Fukushima. Japan’s first mass production of drones will kick off this year at a plant near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to drone expert Kenzo Nonami and product prototype manufacturer Kikuchi Seisakusho Co. Kikuchi Seisakusho plans to produce 400 unmanned surveillance aircraft at its plant in Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture. “Fukushima is a suitable production site given its need to measure radiation,” said Nona