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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

08 Jan 07. The Israeli army is reported to be developing the world’s largest unmanned aerial vehicle, to be used for long-range deployment and destroying ballistic missiles as they are being launched. Security officials said on Monday that the Israel Aircraft Industries had developed Eitan, an unmanned aircraft with a 110 feet of wingspan, similar to a Boeing 737 passenger plane. The drone was developed for long endurance and high altitude flights. It will be equipped with several high-tech cameras and missiles that would allow it to identify and intercept long-range missiles as they are being fired on the ground. The Philippine ABS-CBN news agency reported that Yediot Aharonot newspaper said the drone is scheduled to make its trial flights in the next few days. (Source: Shephard)

07 Jan 07. Neuron UCAV Approaches Design Phase. A French-led effort to develop a stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle is set to move into high gear as engineers begin to prepare detailed definition of the Neuron demonstrator. For the six partner nations, Neuron is a major attempt to explore what uses a UCAV capability might serve. For industry, it’s seen as a vital effort to keep pace with the nearest competitors. Program planners acknowledge that similar U.S. and British undertakings might be further advanced (AW&ST Dec. 11, 2006, p. 35). But with military strategists everywhere still grappling with UCAV requirements, they are confident there’s still enough time for Europe to be competitive. In fact, they are already eyeing an extension to the 10-year program to allow more potential uses to be explored. Major design milestones lie ahead in the coming months. The €400m ($524m) undertaking–which kicked off in 2004 and contracted in February 2006–is intended to demonstrate vital technologies for a next-generation combat aircraft (manned or unmanned) and, perhaps more importantly, to show how such a program should be run. In September, the program passed a first intermediate synthesis review–a milestone in the two-year feasibility phase that’s about two-thirds complete. Midyear, managers expect to hold a launch design review, which will permit the project to move into the detailed design phase. Manufacturing is to begin in 2008, with first flight in 2011. Flight tests are expected to last 18 months. (Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report)

Jan 07. The U.S. Army announced Jan. 9 that it is realigning its unmanned aerial assets to correspond better with future joint-force requirements and budgetary constraints. The Army is balancing competing priorities: the costs of war and reset, and the need to modernize the force. Consequently, the service will continue to improve Raven and Shadow Unmanned Aerial Systems, develop two of four classes of Future Combat Systems Unmanned Aerial Systems, and field the Extended Range/Multi-Purpose Unmanned Aerial Systems. “The lessons our Army learned after five years of war helped to form our future force requirements,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Mundt, Director of Army Aviation. “Unmanned Aerial Systems will play an increasingly prominent operational role for our Combatant Commanders and for our Soldiers. They are a force multiplier and a life saver. Army Modernization is dynamic, not static and that’s why we’re making these necessary adjustments.”(Source: Shephard)

Jan 07. Stand 1817, UK Pavilion. Allen-Vanguard, the internal security specialist, is showcasing a range of its signature products at the 8th International Defence Exhibition and Conference, (IDEX) 2007. The event, which is one of the largest and fastest growing defence exhibitions in the world, takes place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates between 18-22 February. The products on show include the Defender and Vanguard™ MK2 ROVs, the full range of Hook and Line (HAL®) kits as well as search tools such as mirrors and the Merlin Contraband detectors. This equipment is critical to the defence sectors at a time when security teams face an unprecedent

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