13 Sep 16. Israeli military defining quadcopter UAV design. The Israel defence forces’ land command and the nation’s defence ministry are developing an unmanned quadcopter to support ground units.
Currently being defined by the land command’s technical branch, the basic design is the result of recent combat experience by ground units, which are currently equipped with Elbit Systems’ Skylark unmanned air vehicle. The system is mainly deployed by artillery units and special forces personnel.
Speaking on 12 September, Israeli sources said that once the basic design requirements had been completed, a tender would be issued for the quadcopter’s production.
Sources suggest that the new system will have a maximum take-off weight of 10-15kg (22-33lb), with a rotor diameter of 1m (3.3ft). Its operational endurance is expected to be 30min while carrying a 3-4kg payload and up to 1h with a sensor fit totalling 400g. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/FlightGlobal)
13 Sep 16. Quadcopter resupply drone could give soldiers ‘Amazon on the battlefield.’ US Army researchers are developing an unmanned, quadcopter-style vehicle that could perform quick resupply missions over short ranges while flying at low or high altitudes—a service one research chief compared to “Amazon on the battlefield.”
Called the Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV, the rectangular quadcopter currently is in the prototype stage, but if brought to fruition it would allow soldiers on the battlefield to call for resupplies and have them delivered in about a half hour.
Traditional resupply convoys involve not only supply trucks but clearance vehicles to ensure passage, which requires more vehicles for the mission. “Those need to be coordinated in advance. This negates the need for all that,” Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, commanding general of the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said in a release. “Basically what this does is give us speed and agility on the battlefield.”
The prototype is about the size of a commercial quadcopter, though differently shaped. The actual JTARV will of course be larger, with a payload capacity of up to 300 pounds, and the ability to fly at low altitudes at 60 mph or faster.
Unmanned resupply missions aren’t all that new in the military, but the types of vehicles and the missions they have performed has varied. Marines in Afghanistan, for instance, made extensive use of the K-MAX unmanned helicopter between 2011 and 2014, when it was decommissioned. The Army and Marines also have tested various track-wheeled ground robots as well as a four-legged robotic pack mule designed to handle tough terrain (although the military has decided that, at the moment, the pack mule to be too loud.)
The JTARV’s design and functionality, including the ability to fly low and respond quickly, could add a new capability that hasn’t been addresses, possibly for supporting small, expeditionary missions.
The Army Research Laboratory began looking into the JTARV concept in 2014, later awarding a contract to Mallory Aeronautics and Survice Engineering to quickly develop a prototype. ARL earlier this ear transferred the project to the Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, with ARL continuing to supply subject matter experts in a number of areas, the Army said. In June of this year, the Marines came in to make it a joint project.
While working to take JATRV from the prototype stage to a full-scale model, researcher also are considering boosting the vehicle’s payload capacity to 800 pounds and extending its range to 125 miles. (Source: Defense Systems)
09 Sep 16. The General Dynamics Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) successfully launched multiple Bluefin SandSharkTM micro-autonomous underwater vehicles (M-AUV) as part of several capability demonstrations at the U.S. Navy sponsored 2016 Annual Naval Technology Exercises (ANTX) in Newport, R.I. Through several ANTX demonstrations, the Bluefin SandShark M-