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30 Mar 17. AGAT develops Berkut-1E UAV. Minsk, Belarus-based AGAT Control Systems has developed a new variant of its Berkut-1 small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Berkut-1E builds on the design of the earlier system and has two configurations – a 3.3m wingspan, 1.5m long aircraft or a 3.7m wingspan, 1.7m long variant, which also features a larger battery.
The aircraft have a pusher propeller configuration and feature a single payload integrated in the nose -these have been developed by AGAT and include an infrared camera, digital still camera, or a CCD TV camera.
The aircraft can be launched by hand (in winds of up to 15 m/s) or a rubber bungee (less than 10m/s and for the larger variant only) and are recovered via a parachute system. The take-off weight depends on the variant and payload fitted, with the larger aircraft having a maximum weight of 9kg. A maximum operating range of 60km is stated by the company, along with an endurance of 2.5 hours – depending on the flight profile. The aircraft have a ceiling of 9,842ft, although this reduces depending on the payload; operations are typically conducted at 820 to 984ft above ground level. Berkut-1E’s NSU ground station is based on a ruggedised laptop and an omnidirectional AMU antenna unit that can extend to a height of 10m. The systems are typically operated by a two-person crew and all of the components are carried in two cases. A complete system set comprises two aircraft, three payload modules, three batteries, one antenna unit, and one ground control station. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Mar 17. Schiebel and Patria have been working together to integrate Patria’s sophisticated Compact Airborne Networking Data Link (CANDL) communication network onto the CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS). The two European companies’ joint effort is the first step of an ongoing program of work examining how the CAMCOPTER® S-100 can be deployed to directly support manned helicopter operations. Patria’s CANDL provides a solid backbone to explore the benefits of Manned-UnManned Teaming (MUM-T) operations, where the combined strengths of each air asset can be optimized to increase overall situational awareness and enhance decision making. As Schiebel’s Chief Technical Officer Chris Day points out, “using the unmanned element of a MUM-T operation to provide both the forward and higher altitude view will help to keep pilots and the manned assets safe as well as improve overall mission effectiveness.”
29 Mar 17. The workhorse of the military’s undersea drone inventory is an autonomous device 8 feet long and 12.5 inches in diameter. It’s good up to depths of about 600 meters. As mine-seekers, these machines have proven their stripes. But the next generation is going to be something else entirely: more than 25 feet long, 48 inches in diameter and able to travel autonomously for hundreds of miles.
“We would like to build a vehicle that could go 30 to 60 days in mission endurance, with power to go 1,000 miles,” said Frank Herr, head of ocean battle sensing at the Office of Naval Research. “It will have the autonomy to be able to find its way to do a naval mission without reporting home constantly.”
An industry day last fall for the Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Innovative Naval Prototype, or LDUUV INP, drew more than 265 representatives from 138 large and small companies, the Navy reported. UUVs have been a topic of interest lately, catapulted into the news in December when China scooped up, and subsequently returned, a U.S. drone in the South China Sea. U.S. officials say the drone was conducting ocean research: Military and scientific users may run UUVs to track currents, water temperature and salinity, among other factors.
More common is the use of UUVs for anti-mine measures. With high-resolution imaging sonar