03 Nov 16. China Shows Cloud Shadow Jet-Powered UAV for Export.
The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is showcasing a newly revealed jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – the Cloud Shadow. Marketed as a high-altitude and long-endurance (HALE) UAV, the Cloud Shadow can be used for strike as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).
The Cloud Shadow possesses a payload of 400 kg, cruising altitude of 14,000 m (i.e. 46,000 ft), a maximum speed of 620 km/h, and endurance of six hours. AVIC is offering the UAV with a standard line-of-sight radio connectivity suite, which offers a range of 290 km.
Over the past five years, China has built and maintained a strong grasp of the UAV market outside of the U.S., Western Europe, and Far East Asia. Its principal ingredient of success was in providing various armed UAV designs, such as the CH-4, to countries the U.S. had been reluctant to supply (the MQ-1 Predator), such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and others.
These countries have become AVIC’s essential armed UAV markets, hence it is not surprising to see the company offer substantially different solutions. The Cloud Shadow offers an opportunity to expand within the existing customer pool, and in some respects, potentially even expand the customer base.
The Cloud Shadow certainly puts the U.S.-led initiative to regulate armed drone sales into perspective. China is evidently committing a heavy amount of resources towards armed drone development, and when seeing the Cloud Shadow, it begs the question of how long it would be until an Avenger-like armed UAV – a HALE airframe with an internal weapons bay – is available on the market.
For its part, China has evidently opted to limit the actual capabilities of its designs in critical respects. For example, AVIC is only offering the Cloud Shadow with line-of-sight communication connectivity limited to 290 km, i.e. within the confines of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). However, it is unlikely that Beijing will be stepping away from its valuable market gains. (Source: UAS VISION/Quwa)
02 Nov 16. A robot warship of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has tested another interesting device: a sort of hang-gliding sensor.
DARPA’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV), an autonomous sub-chaser, sailed with its first payload. The Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) uses a tether and parachute to hover behind a towing vessel.
“The TALONS prototype started out from its ‘nest’ installed on the back of the ACTUV vehicle,” according to a DARPA news release. “It then expanded its parachute and rose to an altitude of 1,000 feet, where it tested its on-board sensors and communications equipment. Once the test was complete, the prototype reeled itself in back to the nest. The entire process took place as the ACTUV vehicle maneuvered at operationally realistic speeds.”
“While aloft, TALONS demonstrated significant improvements to the range of the sensors and radios it carried compared to mounting them directly on a surface vessel,” DARPA said. “For example, TALONS’ surface-track radar extended its range by 500 percent — six times — compared to its range at sea level. Its electro-optical/infrared scanner doubled its observed discrimination range. The TALONS team plugged in a commercial handheld omnidirectional radio; that radio’s range more than tripled.”
The ACTUV project is scheduled to move from DARPA to the Navy by 2018. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
03 Nov 16. ECA Group, within the framework of the Belgian Navy evaluation of Unmmaned Maritime Systems, demonstrated the AUV A9-M capability to remotely survey the seabed in search for mines from its CPV POLLUX.
The ECA Group AUV A9-M, is a 2 meters long, 70Kg underwater vehicle with a capacity of 10 hours of autonomy, which can easily be deployed and operated from rigid hull inflatable boats by two operators,