15 Mar 16. Mongolia, Azerbaijan Interested in Belarusian UAVs. Mongolia and Azerbaijan are interested in Belarusian technologies of manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), BelTA learned from Alexander Shchavlev, Deputy Director of the R&D Center for Multifunctional Unmanned Complexes of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, on 15 March.
“The demand for our products has turned out to be great. In the last five years many systems have been exported. Apart from selling individual products we also offer Belarusian technologies of manufacturing flying machines and parts of unmanned complexes. The option enjoys solid demand on the global market. We have supplied such technological lines to Vietnam, Turkmenistan. Now Mongolia and Azerbaijan are interested in it,” said Alexander Shchavlev.
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus has created three recognizable brands — Busel, Burevestnik, and Dirizhabl. The product choice includes proprietary autopilots that can steer flying machines and systems that can automatically land flying machines on a runway. A number of stationary devices have been developed as well. They can be used to test individual components of unmanned aerial vehicles. Optical and electronic systems with a high degree of stabilization that can feed quality imagery from the aircraft are also available.
In the next five years efforts of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in this area will be focused on a new state R&D program Robotized Complexes and Aerospace Technologies. On the whole, Alexander Shchavlev noted that future belongs to unmanned aircraft. Belarus has laid down the foundation that will allow the country to stay at the forefront of manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles. (Source: UAS VISION/BelTA)
15 Mar 16. US Navy Descopes Stealth Requirement for Stingray Tanking UAV. The US Navy plans to “descope” the stealth requirement for its future carrier-based aerial refuelling unmanned air vehicle, which is now called the MQ-25 Stingray.
Formerly known as unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS), the programme has been rejigged following “strategic portfolio review” by the Pentagon in 2015.
The changes shift emphasis from remotely controlled surveillance and strike missions to replacing overworked Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets in the aerial tanking role. The Pentagon also imposed the designation RAQ-25 CBARS to reflect the unmanned aircraft’s evolved mission, but the name is not popular among mariners.
Speaking at a defence programmes conference in Washington DC on 10 March, navy officials confirmed their “MQ-25 Stingray” will be less stealthy and more tanked-up than previously imagined and a request for proposals (RfP) for the air vehicle segment could emerge later this calendar year ahead of an evaluation and fly-off through 2017.
The newest plan, revealed in the navy’s fiscal year 2017 budget submission, would award an air vehicle contract to one prime contractor in the second quarter of 2018 for first delivery by 2021.
The navy has earmarked $2.16bn for the MQ-25 effort through fiscal year 2021, as well as $350m that has been gifted by Congress for continued air vehicle demonstrations in fiscal 2016.
“UCLASS is dead, but the money that was appropriated by Congress in the line is still usable,” says Vice Adm Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources. “We headed to Congress and talked to all the lawyers.”
A multi-mission tanker is certainly not what Congress was expecting to come from the defence secretary’s top-level intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance portfolio review, especially after successful ship-based demonstrations of the low-observable Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle.
US lawmakers have been pushing for a “penetrating, air-refuellable, unmanned carrier-launched aircraft capable of performing a broad range of missions in a non-permissive environment”, but Mulloy