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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

06 May 07. Boeing has been awarded a $20m contract to supply ScanEagle services to Australian Forces in Afghanistan for a six month period.

May 07. Foster-Miller Inc.’s its IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) contract from the Robotic Systems Joint Program Office administered by the Naval Air Warfare Training Systems Division (NAVAIR) has been increased from $63.9m to $150m to accommodate the purchase of additional TALON® robots and replacement parts for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Source: Shephard)

May 07. RUAG Aerospace to launch new “Super Ranger” UAV system at Paris Air Show. The Super RANGER follows the RANGER: RUAG Aerospace of Emmen (Switzerland) presents a new UAV system. The new system fills the gap between tactical systems and MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAVs. Its economical operation and convincing performance make the Super RANGER of interest to air and ground forces. For years, the Finnish and Swiss air forces have successfully operated the proven RANGER reconnaissance drone that has demonstrated its reliability in far over 3,500 missions, both in military and – which is unique in Europe – civilian airspace. Now, RUAG Aerospace of Emmen (Switzerland) will for the first time present its successor, the new Super RANGER UAV at the Paris Air Show, in June 2007. (Source: Shephard)

03 Jun 07. RAFAEL Armament Development Authority Ltd. is proud to disclose an improved version of its SkyLite B, mini-UAV. The new version features a range of over 35 km, flight endurance of up to 3 hours and a secure digital data link. The SkyLite B, recently combat proven, is a man-portable or vehicle mounted, mini-UAV system that enables long periods of stealthy reconnaissance and surveillance during the day, at night, in rain and in high winds of 30 knots. The SkyLite B comprises advanced gimbaled and stabilized electro-optic payloads, a built-in electro-optical tracker and a camera guide mode which allows the system to autonomously and continuously track a moving target and provides extremely high resolution images with highly accurate targeting information. In addition, the SkyLite B system also includes a ground station comprising advanced C2 capabilities, as well as image processing technology developed by RAFAEL. The standard SkyLite B configuration uses an analog video link with a flight endurance of 90 minutes and an operational radius of range of up to 10 km. By adding a more powerful battery and extended wing tips the new SkyLite B configuration can fly for up to three hours and by using the same airframe, Rafael has allowed the field operator to choose between the configurations according to their tactical requirements. In addition, the new configuration can have a secure video data link extending its mission range to over 35 km. The new version adds just 1.5 kilograms to the original 6.5 kg platform and its ground station can also be operated from a stationary structure or field vehicle. This upgraded SkyLite B also includes additional features for better field use such as speedier assembly, which requires no tools and faster turn around time; always an asset in field operation.

May 07. Athena Technologies, Inc., announced the successful flight demonstration of damage tolerant flight control and autonomous landing capabilities on a subscale F/A-18 UAV. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored the demonstration which was held on April 18, 2007 at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. The objective of the test was to prove that adaptive flight controls could regain baseline aircraft performance after the aircraft had sustained simulated battle damage and then safely land the aircraft autonomously with only the onboard INS/GPS functionality of Athena’s GuideStar™ 111m for navigation. The demonstration involved a subscale F/A-18 UAV, powered by a turbojet engine, that sustained wing battle damage simulated with the in-flight ejection of an aileron. Athena’s damage

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