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27 Apr 17. Saudi guards intercept unmanned bomb boat. The Saudi Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced on 26 April that the Border Guard had intercepted an unmanned boat that was loaded with explosives before it could attack a petroleum terminal at Jizan on the kingdom’s southern Red Sea coast. The statement said the Border Guard, which includes a coastguard, monitored the boat as it set off from a small Yemeni island and saw it accelerate to 34 kt when it entered Saudi waters and headed towards the Saudi Aramco terminal. At which point guards fired on it to disable its engines. The boat was then examined in conjunction with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), at which point it was discovered that it did not have any crew and was loaded with explosives. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Apr 17. GKN Aerospace opens production line for landing gear systems of GA-ASI Predator B.
• Production volume of 30 to 50 landing gear per year
• First landing gear will be delivered in Q2 2017
• About 10 Dutch SME’s involved in the supply chain
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business, a technology leader in cutting edge landing gear technologies, yesterday officially opened the highly automated production line of landing gear systems for Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper® RPA, systems in Helmond, the Netherlands.
GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business is GA-ASI’s Dutch in-country partner. The companies have been working together for several years to offer Predator aircraft to the Dutch Armed Forces. An experienced Program Team will manage the execution of the landing gear production supported by highly automated processes. Predator B exceeds the Dutch Air Forces’ requirements for persistent remotely piloted Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems.
“We are committed to substantial European industrial involvement on our aircraft systems,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “Fokker’s production of the Predator B landing gear system is just one of the major areas of collaboration with European industry.”
GA-ASI and Fokker are also exploring the possibilities to collaborate in the application of advanced composites in the Predator B landing gear to reduce weight and improve production lead times. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business is a technology leader in the design and development of composite components for landing gear.
“We are proud to manufacture the landing gear of the innovative Predator B system for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems,” said Michiel van der Maat, vice president of Fokker Technologies, our teams have been working closely together to achieve this great milestone “
This strategic collaboration continues to demonstrate GA-ASI’s drive to support Dutch industry and to integrate their industrial capabilities worldwide. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business and Dutch industry will play a critical role in the expanding Predator-series market.
26 Apr 17. Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] advanced tactical Group 3 unmanned aerial system (UAS), Fury, is regularly flying long-range endurance test missions as the company prepares it for low-rate production. In flight tests since May 2016, Fury has flown more than 200 hours and reliably demonstrated more than 12-hour endurance, while simultaneously operating 100 pounds of payloads, including electro-optical/infrared surveillance systems, voice communications relays, SATCOM links, and multiple signals intelligence payloads.
The ramp-up in flight tests and demonstrations has grown significantly. Fury has completed over 400 flight test hours, with significant increase in the second half of 2016.
“These flight tests have consistently proven that Fury is a true ‘anyt