19 Oct 05. Northrop Grumman Corp., Integrated Systems, San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Oct. 17, 2005, a $419,520 increment of a $56,485,853 other transaction for prototypes agreement to continue work on the X-47B Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems program. The agreement funds the first 11 months of a revised program plan that includes full carrier suitability testing and mission functionality demonstrations including electronic support measures and multi-ship operations, and reduces the number of aircraft to be built from three to two. This agreement replaces the agreement awarded Aug. 18, 2004, and covers the X-47B program as it transitions to Joint Program Office management at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (73 percent); Palmdale, Calif. (10 percent); East Hartford, Conn. (7 percent); St. Louis, Mo. (5 percent); Grand Rapids, Mich. (1 percent); Santa Ana, Calif. (1 percent); Torrance, Calif. (2 percent); Costa Mesa, Calif. (1 percent); and other locations, and will be completed in September 2006, at which time a follow-on award is planned to complete the program through December 2011. Funds will expire at the end of this fiscal year. This is a follow-on to a competitive award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity (HR0011-06-9-0001).
19 Oct 05. RAF combat pilots will be replaced by unmanned robotic aircraft in the coming years, a senior airforce commander predicted yesterday. But Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge warned that if ministers try to use technical advances to impose more manpower cuts on the RAF, they will compromise its fighting ability. Sir Brian also hinted that new Eurofighter jets could be partly stationed at Scottish bases, helping them to avoid closure. Sir Brian, the commander-in-chief of the RAF’s Strike Command, raised the prospect of unmanned combat drones at a briefing with journalists in London. “I would like to see uninhabited combat aircraft in our inventory in the next decade,” he said. He added: “Uninhabited combat air vehicles will be good at penetrating long distances in places where the risk is difficult to assess but the target is easy to assess.” Under government-imposed cuts, the RAF is dropping from 48,000 to 41,000 personnel.
13 Oct 05. At the request of the United States Army, STARA Technologies, Inc. will demonstrate its patented miniature guided parachute technology at the Precision Airdrop Technology Conference and Demonstration at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona. On October 17th through the 21st STARA Technologies will present the capabilities of its miniature Mosquito guided parachute systems to several hundred U.S. Military personnel. The Mosquito is the only system in the world light enough and small enough to be used with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The Mosquito enhances the capabilities of the US Military by providing the ability to use UAVs to drop Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS), communications relays, and medical resupply bundles with an accuracy of 100 feet. The Mosquito can be launched from 35,000 feet from a UAV wing mount or an external flare/chaff dispenser. The Mosquito is 20x smaller than other systems on the market and will be the only miniature delivery system presented at PATCAD. In the next six months the Mosquito will be dropped from 6 different UAV platforms including the Predator A and B series. Additionally, STARA will be jointly presenting the capabilities of a new innovative composite parachute material called Cuben Fiber. Cuben Fiber is 350% stronger, 700% less stretchable and 75% lighter than conventional parachute material. The inventor of the material and original designer of the composite parafoil, R.J. Downs will be a guest of STARA’s and will be presenting his fabric to hundreds of military personnel.
11 Oct 05. Congratulations to the University of Linkoping from Sweden, winner of the best rotorcraft at the First US-European