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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

13 Apr 07. Flight Solutions ready to unleash Watchdog medium tactical UAV. Brazil-based Flight Solutions is to unveil a new tactical UAV at the Latin American Aerospace and Defence (LAAD) exhibition in Rio de Janeiro 17-20 April. The FS-01 Watchdog system is the first of three UAV types planned by the company and is expected to be ready for low-volume production from late this year. An FS-01 prototype is already flying. FS-01 is based on a design developed by Belo Horizonte’s University of Minas Gerais during 2005. Flight Solutions says that it “integrated the rest of the system creating a product suited for several civil and military missions” during the course of 2006. The pusher configuration airframe is all-composite and uses a modular approach enabling rapid disassembly and reassembly for transport and storage. Span is 4.7m (15.4ft). The UAV has close visual similarities to the Aerostar system produced by Israeli firm Aeronautics Defense Systems. Flight Solutions says its design represents the first Brazilian UAV matured to a production-ready standard “with proprietary technology”. The UAV has a cruise speed of 102kt (190km/h), an operational radius of 70km (38nm) and a maximum operational ceiling of 20,000ft (6,100m). Payload capacity is placed at 25kg (55lb). Flight Solutions, located in San Jose, is a joint venture between Brazilian-firms Flight Technologies and Advanced Composites Solutions. As well as FS-01 the company is developing a hand-launched, electrically powered system designated FS-02. That UAV will have a 2.1m span and a maximum take-off weight of 3kg. Payload capacity is forecast at 0.7kg. The third system, designated the FS-03 Starcopter, is a 240kg maximum take-off weight helicopter. The UAV would be capable of carrying a 113kg payload and have an operational radius of 250km. Flight Solutions says the design would have a 5.48m main rotor and an all-up length of 6.1m. (Source: Flight International)

Apr 07.Hydroid, LLC has won two contracts from the Australian Department of Defence. The first contract was awarded by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), one of the largest and most modern naval forces in South-East Asia, for Hydroid’s REMUS 600 AUV, marking the first sale of a REMUS 600 outside of the U.S. The second was granted by the Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) for a REMUS 100, the world’s most proven and reliable AUV. (Source: Shephard)

19 Apr 07. Cedip Infrared Systems has announced that the first consignment of novel miniaturised thermal IR camera’s to the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) N.V, for incorporation into their new Tracker UAV system, will be delivered during 2007. Subject to receipt of several large contracts by EADS further contracts are expected by Cedip Infrared Systems during 2008.The design of the Tracker UAV system (known in France under the name DRAC) is expected to significantly improve reconnaissance capabilities for civil and military authorities. The user-friendly system, which can be prepared for operation in a matter of minutes, offers excellent flight characteristics and robustness even under extreme operational conditions. Tracker is a tactical drone with hand-launchability for missions at close range. The system meets the highest performance requirements even under complex operational conditions.

16 Apr 07. Bental Industries announced the European launch of its innovative hybrid system, following its successful launch in the US. Designed for mini to mid-size UAVs, the operational advantages of the hybrid system will be demonstrated at the IDEF show in May and at the Paris Air Show in June. Leveraging the Combined Advantages of Electric Motor & Internal Combustion Engine Bental’s cutting-edge hybrid system delivers the combined operational benefits of electric motor and fuel engine. During ignition of the UAV’s internal combustion engine, the electric motor acts as a starter and activates the internal combustion e

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