28 Sep 06. Armed Unmanned Vehicles May Join U.S. Navy Fleet. The U.S. Navy expects to rely more on unmanned vehicles in the future and a plan to integrate them into the fleet is in final review. During a technology demonstration Sept. 27 at the Washington Navy Yard, Landon Hutchens, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command, said a plan for remotely-piloted vehicles “will be released this fall.” On display was the Protector, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin, BAE and Israeli arms maker Rafael. Built on a rigid inflatable-type hull, the Protector can do better than 35 knots while being operated by a mission commander and weapons commander from as far as five miles away. It has a gun mount for up to a .50-cal. machine gun, multi-sensor optics and the ability to tow sensors. Airman Amir Johnson got a look at the Protector while it was in the Anacostia River. Johnson is striking for aviation machinist’s mate, but for now he’s assigned to the Navy Yard. (Source: Defense News)
05 Oct 06. BAE Systems has received a U.S. Army contract for a new generation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems that will provide precise detection and identification of known and potential threats. BAE Systems’ AURORA Generation IVTM spectral ISR system combines hyperspectral imaging technology with high-resolution electro-optic and infrared sensors with an airborne processing system that exploits and fuses spectral and imagery data in real time. The AURORA Generation IV system has been developed for use on a wide range of low- and high-flying vehicles that can accommodate payloads as low as 15 pounds. BAE Systems initially will integrate five systems on U.S. Army Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles. The system combines imaging arrays and sensors with BAE Systems’ Adaptive Spectral Processing and Identification System (ASPIS) to provide automated target recognition. ASPIS detects and identifies known or potential threats and then downlinks target imagery and other data to ground operators for rapid delivery into intelligence databases.
27 Sep 06. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom of MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $77m. The Government of the United Kingdom has requested a possible sale of two MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) aircraft, one Ground Control Station, two Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems, one Mobile Ground Control Station, two Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar (airborne), Ku-Band Communications spares, Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar Spares, engineering support, test equipment, ground support, operational flight test support, communications equipment, technical assistance, personnel training/equipment, spare and repair parts, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $77m. The United Kingdom requests these capabilities to provide for the defense of deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with the U.S.. This program will increase the United Kingdom’s ability to contribute to future NATO, coalition, and anti-terrorism operations that the U.S. may undertake. The United Kingdom is a staunch supporter of the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror. United Kingdom troops are deployed in support of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, where U.S. assets currently provide this proposed capability. By acquiring this capability, the United Kingdom will be able to provide the same level of protection for its own forces and those of the U.S. The principal contractors will be: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems San Diego, California, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems El Segundo, California, General Atomics Lynx Systems San Diego, California. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will n