26 Mar 07. UK RAF expects first Predator B deliveries. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to receive the first of two General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Predator B unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) – now designated MQ-9 Reaper by the US Air Force (USAF) – during April 2007, defence sources have confirmed. The aircraft will be operated by a re-formed 39 Squadron at RAF Waddington that until July 2006, had flown the Canberra PR.9 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft from RAF Marham. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)
Apr 07. The general manager for the Aurora Flight Sciences operation at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport, Gregory Stewart, spoke to a Starkville civic group. Stewart says Aurora hopes to develop the GoldenEye 80 U-A-V and build them at a pace of one a week. He says the goal is to grow to 300 employees at the production level. He says the GoldenEye 80 will be designed for target designation and could also have some applications in border security. He says officials are currently pitching the idea and are not yet under contract. (Source: Shephard)
10 Apr 07. The first RQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system successfully completed its first flight on March 1, adding to an already impressive list of program accomplishments. Designated AF-8, the advanced capability aircraft flew from Northrop Grumman Corporation’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif., to the Birk Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. “The Block 20 Global Hawk performed beautifully,” said Randy Brown, Global Hawk Program Director with the U.S. Air Force’s 303rd Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, following the flight. “What a great start for the flight test program, and a testament to the people of Northrop Grumman who have worked so hard to make this happen.” The air vehicle took to the skies at approximately 6:58 a.m. PST, climbing to 32,000 feet and landing at 8:31 a.m. PST before a crowd of cheering Air Force officials and Northrop Grumman employees. Two F-16s served as chase aircraft.
Apr 07. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Air Combat Systems, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $35,500,000 modification to an undefinitized cost plus award fee contract. This action will provide logistics for Global Hawk system from April 1 thru 30 September 2007. The logistics support contract incorporates all contractor activities required for support of the Global Hawk Weapon System. The LSC shall provide materials and support services to include planning, activating, and operating in support of Beale Air Force Base and forward operating locations and bases. At this time, $15,000,000 have been obligated. Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity. (F33657-02-C-5424/P00037)
Apr 07. InRob Ltd. announced the completion of a round of capital raising in the amount of $3m. The Company believes that completion of this financing will enable it to promote its business and implement its global growth strategy in the military and civilian markets. “We look forward to an exciting new phase in the corporate development of InRob Tech. This capital raising places the Company in a stronger financial position to pursue its global expansion strategy, and specifically accelerate our R&D efforts and the mass-production of competitively priced products,” said Ben Tsur Joseph, President of InRob Tech. “We are very pleased by the vote of confidence by our investors as we move towards significant commercial opportunities in the near term.” (Source: Shephard)
Apr 07. Gaming tycoon and self-described “socialist millionaire” Avi Shaked and his children have acquired shares in the Yavneh-based unmanned aerial vehicles company, Aeronautics Defense Systems. A formal announcement of the acquisition is expected to be issued next week. None of the parties involved would discuss particulars of the deal. However, sources close to the deal say it involves acquisit