Textron Systems has started to roll-out some of the advanced capabilities earmarked for the Shadow V2 tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).The upgrades brought in the Shadow V2 configuration enable a wider range of more advanced systems to be carried on the aircraft, in no small part due to the addition of the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) and the increase in power available.The TCDL brings significant benefits, providing increased interoperability and encryption, and moving the communications out of a congested part of the spectrum and into the Ku-band. This enhancement will enable additional platforms to be operated more freely.Speaking to IHS Jane's at AUVSI's Xponential 2016 conference and exhibition in New Orleans, Henry Finneral, Textron Systems' vice-president of tactical UAS, said that the first US Army units to receive the L-3 Wescam MX-10 payload will do so later this month and will operate the system in the US Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations, which includes the Middle East and Afghanistan.Further units are set to receive the MX-10 later this year, and Finneral explained that a range of new capabilities and systems will be phased into service including the introduction of Voice Over Internet Protocol connectivity and UHF Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) relay in the "fall of this year". Finneral also said that Shadow aircraft are operated with an IMSAR synthetic aperture radar on one mission.Textron Systems is exploring how to improve manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) between the Shadow and Apache attack helicopters and is looking at weatherisation of the platform to enable it to operate in more testing conditions.Finneral also said that the company is looking at how to enhance survivability based on experience of threats encountered on operations, although he was unable to specify the nature of those threats, it is likely that Textron Systems are examining how to counter electronic warfare systems, as there is little room to fit any defensive aids that could be used against kinetic effects.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California, has been awarded a $657,400,000 hybrid contract including firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract action for aircraft for the Republic of Korea. Contractor will provide four RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk air vehicles, two spare engines, and the applicable Ground Control Environment elements.Each will contain an Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite. Work will be performed at San Diego, California, and is expected to be complete by June 28, 2019. This contract involves foreign military sales.This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-15-C-3001).Source: www.defense.gov
The Ukroboronprom SE “Antonov” has unveiled new “Horlytsia” AN-BK-1 (Turtledove in Ukrainian) unmanned combat air vehicle.The Horlytsia is a family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) developed by the Ukrainian Antonov company. part of State Concern“Ukroboronprom”. The Horlytsia is primarily a day-and-night intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance asset, equipped with a high-definition electro-optical/infrared sensor turret.According to a Ukroboronprom press release the new Horlytsia unmanned combat air vehicle have 1000 km maximum range of.Antonov enterprise built more than 22,000 units of more than one hundred types and modifications of passenger, transport and special-purpose aircraft. Cargo giants “Ruslan” and “Mriya”, being a visit card of the Company are the special pride of aviation designers. They set up 270 world records. As a total, ANTONOV aircraft set up more than 500 records.
Analysis of commercial satellite imagery indicates increased activity at a program of development of a new Russian Altius-M long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.The images show the new drone at the airfield in Kazan. The Altius-M is a long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle develops by reconnaissance missions and destroying targets that have been detected.In 2011, the Tranzas won the Defense Ministry’s tender for the development of two kinds of heavy drones, the “Pacer” and Altius-M, which weigh 1 metric tons and 5 metric tons, respectively.The 5-ton Altius-M aircraft system uses a modular approach with a variety of payloads to perform strike, reconnaissance and electronic warfare (EW) missions using the Khibiny or Borisoglebsk-2 jamming systems.The aircraft system features a long wing design with two under-wing turboprop engines and a V-shaped tail. By its size and weight, it is similar to the United States Air Force (USAF) MQ-9 Reaper.The Altius-M first flight was completed during 2014 with testing to be carried out during 2015. Enter into service is planned for 2017 or later.
In one of the most significant tests of autonomous systems under development by the Department of Defense, the Strategic Capabilities Office, partnering with Naval Air Systems Command, successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms at China Lake, California. The test, conducted in October 2016 and documented on Sunday’s CBS News program “60 Minutes”, consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing.
//www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XKiUtruQiYhttp://defence-blog.com/news/usa-announces-successful-perdix-micro-drone-demonstration.htmlCitarIn one of the most significant tests of autonomous systems under development by the Department of Defense, the Strategic Capabilities Office, partnering with Naval Air Systems Command, successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms at China Lake, California. The test, conducted in October 2016 and documented on Sunday’s CBS News program “60 Minutes”, consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing.
The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) announced on 5 January that it has ordered 35 Spy'Ranger unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Thales for the French Army's Système de Mini Drone de Reconnaissance (SMDR) requirement.The SMDR is set to replace the Airbus Drone de Renseignement Au Contact (DRAC), which has been operated by the French Army since 2008.The initial contract, placed on 21 December 2016, covers a firm order for 35 systems and maintenance support for 10 years. The contract also includes provisions to raise the total of systems ordered up to 70, if required. Each system includes three UAVs and a ground control station.Deliveries of the UAVs are scheduled to begin at the end of 2018.The Spy'Ranger weighs 14.5 kg, has a 2.8 m wingspan, and an endurance of 2.5 hours. It is fitted with a Spyball turret with a day camera, infrared camera, and a laser target illuminator. Thales is said to have drawn on its experience with the French Air Force's new Reco NG reconnaissance pod in creating the Spyball and the networking systems of the Spy'Ranger. The UAV has a high-speed encrypted datalink, capable of operating in standalone mode with the ground station, or across a wider C4I network. This capability is said to have been a key factor in Thales winning the SMDR contract.