26 Apr 05. Washington Questions Turkey’s UAV Deal. Turkey’s procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industry (SSM) has selected a team of Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Elbit for the supply of three UAV systems, a contract worth US$183m. IAI-Elbit was competing with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. The contract involves three systems — 10 aircraft, surveillance equipment and ground control stations. Turkey’s local industry will provide sub-systems and services amounting to 30 percent of the contract. SSM said the Israeli-team plan to finish their part of the project in 24 to 30 months. A procurement official familiar with the programme admitted that SSM hastily went for the Israeli solution as it came under pressure from the military for the ‘quickest possible deal’ to meet its operational needs. The UAV programme had been crawling along for several years. SSM signed a prime contract with the Turkish Aeronautics Industry Corporation (TUSAS) only a day before the aviation company was legally dissolved as it merged with TAI earlier this year. Only days before TUSAS came under the corporate identity of TAI, it had signed the sub-contract with IAI-Elbit. That means that TAI will now run the UAV programme. [Source: Turkish Daily News (TDN) Defense Desk]
25 Apr 05. First Autonomous Transition of GoldenEye-50. Aurora Flight Sciences has announced that its GoldenEye-50 UAV performed multiple autonomous transitions from vertical to horizontal flight, and back again, during test flights last week. The flights validate Aurora’s research, development, test, and evaluation of autonomous, ducted-fan UAVs with vertical take off and landing capabilities. GoldenEye-50, which Aurora announced in 2003 and first flew in July 2004, exhibits helicopter-like hover and vertical takeoff and landing performance as well as fuel efficient, wing-borne flight similar to a conventional airplane. This broad flight envelope provides operational flexibility not available in other small UAVs. During the transition flights, the aircraft accelerated to a forward velocity sufficient to make the aircraft’s wings provide primary lift and roll authority. The aircraft exhibited stable forward flight to a pre-determined waypoint where it autonomously returned to a hover, turned 180 degrees and returned to its launching area. In December 2004 DARPA selected a GoldenEye variant called GoldenEye-OAV as one of three vehicles concepts to compete for the Organic Air Vehicle-II procurement. The OAV-II UAV will provide a self-contained UAV capability for company-sized units in the US Army’s Future Combat System.
(Source: Aurora Flight Sciences)
25 Apr 05. Russian UAV Can Launch From MLRS. Russia is ready to market a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can be launched by a Smerch multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) to provide targeting data from a distance of 90 kilometers in just four minutes. (Source: Defense News)
25 Apr 05. IAI-Elbit Wins Turkish UAV Deal Over U.S. Firm. Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems won a long-delayed Turkish contract to supply three unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems to the Turkish military, but doubts remain about the competition rules that drove out the Israelis’ only rival. (Source: Defense News)
25 Apr 05. European Defense Agency May Buy UAVs. By early 2006, the fledgling European Defense Agency (EDA) wants to start tendering contracts, using the tools of acquisition to nudge European Union defense firms toward restructuring, or at least a more rational use of defense budgets, say EU and national defense policy officials. (Source: Defense News)
28 Apr 05. Lockheed Martin Aerosonde North America, Inc, and Aerosonde Pty Limited today announced the establishment of a multi-national strategic alliance to provide Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) solutions for domestic and international markets. As part of the agreement, Lockheed Martin and Aerosonde will build, integrate and