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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

19 Oct 06. The U.S. Navy awarded a $5.2m contract modification to Boeing Co. for the provision of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and reconnaissance in the Iraq War and broader war on terror. The work will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be completed by April 2007.

26 Oct 06. QinetiQ’s unmanned fast inshore attack craft goes into operational service with the Royal Navy . Delivered by QinetiQ on time and within a £500k budget, the Royal Navy has accepted into service two remotely controlled Fast Inshore Attack Craft for use during live firing training exercises. The design of the craft exploits the technology developed by QinetiQ engineers that helped the RN to clear a key strategic waterway of mines in Iraq during Operation TELIC – the first time the RN used unmanned surface vessels in an operational role. The FIAC RT (Fast Inshore Attack Craft Realistic Target) will be deployed by Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) and integrated into the existing sea training programme for Royal Navy ships.

10 Oct 06. UAE deploys first Camcopter S-100 UAVs. The first two production Camcopter S-100 helicopter UAVs, designed by Austria’s Schiebel group, are understood to have been deployed operationally following their delivery earlier this year to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces. The UAE is taking the Camcopter S-100 into service principally for homeland defence and border-monitoring purposes, but the nation is also listed as a coalition partner in Operation ‘Enduring Freedom’, being conducted in Afghanistan under the auspices of US Central Command. (Source: Jane’s International Defence Review)

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