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Jun 07. Sagem Défense Sécurité (SAFRAN Group) has just acquired the Finnish company Robonic Ltd Oy – a specialist in the pneumatic UAV catapults based in Tampere, Finland. This acquisition provides a key element with which to develop the new-generation high-endurance catapulted tactical UAVs developed by Sagem Défense Sécurité. It also boosts the modernization of its Sperwer UAVs, in operational service in five armed forces (Canada, France, Greece, the Netherlands and Sweden), through quicker deployment, a reduced logistics. Robonic Ltd Oy’s pneumatic UAV catapults are in service in the Finnish armed forces and in numerous other armed forces worldwide. They make use of a unique technology and constitute a preferred solution for UAV systems and high-performance targets. The acquisition of Robonic includes the company’s subsidiary flight test center: Robonic’s Arctic Test UAV Flight Centre (RATUFC). Located in Kemijarvi, the center was already used successfully by Sagem Défense Sécurité in June 2006 for its long-endurance tests of its tactical UAVs. A new test campaign for this drone will take place at the end of this month. Robonic’s test center offers very favorable airspace availability conditions, with high security. (Source: Shephard)

1 Jul 07. A demonstration of the state-of-the-art tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Limited will be held for various State Governments in Chennai in September. This was disclosed by IAI president and CEO Itzhak Nissan, who presented a paper at a two-day international conference on “High Speed Transatmoshperic Air & Space Transportation”, which concluded here on Saturday. He said the UAV had been specially made for tactical use and could be mounted on a truck for moving from place to place. Describing it as an independent system with ground and data stations, he said it could be operated round the clock. (Source: Google)

28 Jun 07. BAE Systems continues to swap skill sets with the Woking-based Formula 1 operation as the worlds of competitive motorsport and aerospace move ever closer. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ success has been hallmarked by its ability to dramatically evolve its Formula 1 cars in engineering terms from Grand Prix to Grand Prix, keeping the competition on the back foot and its drivers at the front of the Grid. And now some of the lessons learned in terms of rapid engineering at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are being passed onto the aerospace sector where design engineers are adding them to their own skills in this field to produce flying demonstrator aircraft in months instead of years. BAE Systems’ Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) programme relies heavily on the flexibility, speed and efficiency of rapid engineering and rapid prototyping. And at BAE Systems’ Military Air Solutions headquarters at Warton in Lancashire, assessment components for UAV’s and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 cars are now coming out of machines called Stereo Lithography UV Lasers simultaneously. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes send Gavin and his team 3D CAD data on a regular basis. Once it arrives the Stereo Lithography machines are loaded with the data and then build up precision components layer by layer in incredible detail out of epoxy resin. The components are then assessed by the McLaren Racing design engineers and three or four iterations of the design may be tried before the perfect result is achieved.

Jul 07. Protonex Technology Corporation has received an $800,000 extension to a previously awarded contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to optimize performance of its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) propulsion system, ProCore(TM) UAV. The advanced version of the system is expected to enable longer flight times and increased payload capability of small unmanned aircraft. Under this extended program, Protonex will increase the power density of the ProCore(TM) UAV fuel cell system. In addition, Protonex will work with subcontractor

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