The U.S. Air Force is wresting with the manpower, training and cultural issues that surround the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In his presentation to the Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference (DIAC) last November,* USAF commander General Norton Schwartz outlined the new terminology and career fields that the service is introducing in response.
The Teal Group’s latest Market Profile and Forecast for the unmanned aerial vehicle concludes that expenditure on UAVs will rise from an annual $4.4 billion in 2009 to $8.7 billion by 2018. At the same time, the aerospace analysis group forecasts a rise in UAV payload expenditure from $2 billion to nearly $5 billion.
Honeywell is celebrating a further $400 million worth of orders for its TPE331 engine following a U.S. Air Force decision to procure a total of 319 General Atomics Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Israeli EO/IR expert Controp has added a number of new products to its extensive range of sensor payloads, and they are on display here on its stand in the Israeli National Pavilion. Leading the debutants is T-STAMP, the latest member of its STAMP family of lightweight payloads for small aircraft, UAVs and helicopters.
The stealthy, jet-powered version of the Predator series UAV that was unveiled last month was developed “with significant company investment,” according to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI). Tom Cassidy, president of GA-ASI’s aircraft systems group, again sought to contrast the company’s lean and independent development model with that of the major aerospace companies.
The FAA on August 15 granted the U.S. Air Force a certificate of authorization (COA) to fly its Global Hawk unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) throughout the National Airspace System (NAS), in support of homeland defense missions. The turbofan-powered, DC-3-size Global Hawk is a high-altitude (FL500+) long-range (U.S.
The UK Royal Air Force flies three Nimrod R.1 versions that are dedicated to SIGINT (signals intelligence). They were converted from MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft, and their sensors have been upgraded regularly to monitor emerging new threats and signals. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) developed a plan for a complete replacement of the aircraft’s SIGINT suite, Project Helix, and chose L-3 Communications UK to provide it.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) won an
Raytheon is displaying here at Farnborough its universal control station (UCS) for UAVs. It is the first time the station is showing at an international venue.
The company claims that the UCS could dramatically reduce the accident rates of unmanned systems, as well as the cost to train operators. In particular, Raytheon wants to replace the ground stations provided by General Atomics for the control of the Predator and Reaper UAVs.
Officials from the UK’s up-and-coming UAV test airfield are negotiating here this week with several American companies who have expressed frustration with the lack of timely cooperation from their own Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).