Tag Archives | UAS

US Air Force looks beyond the Reaper

The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc MQ-9 Reaper will rule the US Air Force fleet of medium-altitude unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) through the middle of the next decade. The USAF’s newly-released UAS flight flight plan shows the Reaper’s capability will steadily expand with the arrival of new payloads, such as the Gorgon Stare sensor in […]

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Northrop Grumman brings home BACN contract

The US Air Force today announced a $276 million contract that buys three Bombardier Global Express business jet and five powerful new communications relay systems.The latter is the Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN). This payload is designed to translate data messages sent by radios with incompatible waveforms, perhaps alleviating one of the military’s […]

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Scan Eagle Cutaway and feature

PARIS AIR SHOW: ScanEagle finds ‘sweet spot’ as globally ubiquitous airborne sensor By Stephen Trimble It was 11 years ago when Insitu co-founder Tad McGeer received thetelephone call that launched the unmanned air system that eventuallybecame known as the ScanEagle. Insitu had already demonstrated in 1998 that a low-altitude UAScould cross the Atlantic Ocean on […]

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Cheap gyrocopter for unmanned resupply — why not?

Photo by Stephen Trimble I don’t say this very often, but I’m impressed.It doesn’t look like much, I admit. If the airframe looks familiar, then you recognize the CL-10A Snowgoose parafoil. The inventor — Canadian-based MMist — has replaced the parachute with a three-bladed gyro-head. The renamed Sherpa, displayed at the Cansec trade exhibition in […]

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Israel’s Heron UAV makes surprise re-appearance in US colors

So I get an email today from one of my co-workers. It’s a link to a YouTube video with a question: “Is this news for us?” Well, Rob, I think so. US Southern Command has posted an extremely intriguing video of a project in El Salvador involving an Israeli Aircraft Industries Heron unmanned aerial vehicle […]

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EXCLUSIVE: Predator C makes first flight

At the end of my interview yesterday with Thomas Cassidy, president of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), I asked about what was happening with the Predator C, the jet-powered and reportedly stealthy successor to the Predator/Reaper family. “It flew last weekend,” he said. GA-ASI has been internally developing the Predator C since 2005,keeping its performance, […]

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Aerosonde reveals STUAS surprise

Aerosonde today announced the first flight of the Mark 5 variant of its eponymous unmanned aerial vehicle — surprising, considering we weren’t aware such an aircraft existed, much less has already flown.The Mark 5 is AAI/Aerosonde’s surprise new candidate for the small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS)/Tier II contract, a pending US Navy/US Marine Corps […]

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Progress on next major UAV contract

Looks like the long-awaited competition is about to start for the small tactical UAS (STUAS)/Tier II contract. (Just as the USMC was ready to get started back in August 2007, the USN decided to get involved and delayed the program.)A new acquisition notice says a draft RFP is coming (no timetable given), and it will […]

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A STUAS/Tier II RFP as a stocking-stuffer?

While we wait for the CSAR-X solicitation process to move forward, here’s an update on the much-anticipated (read: extremely delayed) STUAS/Tier II competition from Michel Merluzeau’s G2 Solutions blog. Industry sources are hopeful that the Department of the Navycould solidify its Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System/Tier IIUnmanned Aircraft System (STUAS/Tier II UAS) program by Christmas. […]

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Tom Cassidy on life after BAMS for navalized Predator

As we all know, the US Navydid not select the Mariner unmanned aircraft system – offered by LockheedMartin and General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) – for the Broad AreaMaritime Surveillance (BAMS) contract. Indeed, Lockheedhas protested the USN’s decision to select the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N GlobalHawk. That process is ongoing. Meanwhile, I was offered an opportunity yesterday […]

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