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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

Jan 07. The United States said it would go through with the sale of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to Korea if a related global arms control pact is revised, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Tuesday. “To our request for the sale of the Global Hawk, the U.S. expressed a position that it is not opposed in principle to the aircraft deal,” the agency said in a statement. “But they stressed that the relevant international pact should be first amended.” The U.S. response came during talks between senior defense officials from the two countries in the United States last week, DAPA officials said. DAPA Commissioner Lee Sun-hi and other delegates returned home after a weeklong visit to the United States on Sunday. “We expect a visible progress to be made on the purchase of the Global Hawk in the near future, as the U.S. position has turned positive,” an informed DAPA official said, asking not to be identified. The relevant international pact is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The MTCR is a voluntary association of countries that share the goal of non-proliferation of ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems that could be used for chemical, biological and nuclear attacks. The Global Hawk is classified as category 1 under the 34-member regime. MTCR members are supposed to coordinate national export licensing efforts, and all MTCR decisions are made by consensus. Seoul has sought to purchase the RQ-4 Global Hawk, a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle developed by Northrop Grumman. Washington has been reluctant to sell it because of concerns about protecting strategic technology. The spy aircraft provides near-real-time, high-resolution, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery to battlefield commanders through satellite and ground systems by detecting the movements and composition of objects that are only 30 centimeters long. (Source: Shephard/Korea Times)

Jan 07. Mercury Computer Systems announced VistaNav™-SSR, the fully integrated Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), which comprises a ground station, integrated VistaNav synthetic vision system, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and various electronic sensor systems. Designed to drastically improve operational mission capabilities for airborne intelligence applications such as oil and gas pipeline monitoring and forest fire detection at an affordable cost, VistaNav-SSR (Smart Surveillance & Reconnaissance) is the first Mercury end-to-end product offering to be pre-integrated with an airframe architecture. The VistaNav-SSR is based on the Vector-LRE airframe from IntelliTech Microsystems, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of autonomous vehicle technologies for sea, air, and space applications. The Vector-LRE is a small UAV capable of either remote-control operation or fully autonomous flight, and of performing a wide range of day and night scientific and surveillance missions including oil and gas pipeline monitoring, forest fire detection and monitoring, oil and gas magnetic surveying, precision agriculture, and more. As a tactical-class UAV, the Vector-LRE provides an excellent payload-to-weight ratio that allows the integration of multiple payload, navigation, collision avoidance, and communication subsystems onboard. (Source: Shephard)

11 Jan 07. US Army streamlines future UAV fleet. The US Army announced on 9 January that it would indefinitely postpone development of two unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems as part of its Future Combat Systems (FCS) modernisation programme. Army officials said two of the four planned FCS UAV systems – the Class II and the Class III – would be deferred while development of Class I and Class IV continues. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

Jan 07. A GROUP of dedicated space enthusiasts have won thousands of pounds from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) to fund market research into their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) – better known as flying

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