National security

October 15, 2014 - 10:49am
U.S. Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson

U.S. secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson used an analogy from American football to explain why his department will open new customs pre-clearance facilities at foreign airports to screen against potential terrorists. “Any opportunity I have to defend the end zone from the 50 (yard line) and not just my one-yard line, I will take,” Johnson said October 14 in a speech to the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

October 9, 2014 - 9:45am

A NATO Members User Group for the GA-ASI MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is being established. According to Frank Pace, president of GA-ASI, it will provide a forum for new European Reaper operators to understand U.S. tactics, techniques and procedures, and to arrange mutually beneficial support solutions. The UK and France already operate Reapers, and the Netherlands will buy four, according to Pace. Germany remains a potential customer, he added, although it might wait for the certifiable Predator B. This version of the Reaper is on schedule to fly in late 2016, Pace added.

August 28, 2014 - 9:53pm
Google flying wing over Australia

Internet-age companies are forging ahead with plans to incorporate small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—better known as drones—in their commercial operations. On August 28, Internet search engine and services company Google revealed that it is developing a drone delivery service and has already tested a prototype aircraft.

July 24, 2014 - 1:31pm
MQ-1C Gray Eagle with Nero pod

Testing the U.S. Army conducted in June proved that equipping an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for an airborne electronic attack role is “technically and tactically feasible.” The service will continue experimenting with the system, although it has no immediate plans to field it on a UAS.

July 17, 2014 - 2:00am

The Wisła (“Shield of Poland”) air and missile defense (AMD) program is the largest and most far-reaching defense procurement ever in the post-Communist history of this NATO border nation. The program has immense implications for Poland’s national security even under normal circumstances, but the invasion and occupation of the Ukrainian region of the Crimea by Russia, and an escalating Russian-backed incursion in the eastern regions of Ukraine, has upped the stakes in this program.

July 16, 2014 - 12:55am

Textron’s Lycoming Engines division has found new markets for its man-rated piston engines in the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) segment. For Lycoming, which is celebrating its 85th year manufacturing aircraft engines, its participation in current UAS developments isn’t the company’s first foray into providing engines for unmanned aircraft.

July 12, 2014 - 7:00am

The European agency tasked with keeping watch over the EU’s external borders, Frontex, is enthusiastic about adopting remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) to help them in that job. But significant challenges–some technical but the majority legal–mean that unmanned aircraft are unlikely to be deployed to help defend EU borders in the near future.

July 12, 2014 - 6:00am
Israeli-built Heron 1 UAVs have been operated for the German air force over Afghanistan via a lease-operate-maintain contract.

The Heron 1 UAVs that have been providing imagery for the German air force (GAF) over Afghanistan have now clocked more than 18,500 hours in four years. The lease-operate-maintain contract has already been extended twice, and will likely be extended for a further six months, as the German ponders its long-term UAS policy.

June 25, 2014 - 11:12pm
Boeing Reconfigurable Airborne Multi-Intelligence System (Ramis)

Boeing has added to its portfolio of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft a “multi-int” platform based on the Beechcraft King Air 350ER. The company’s Reconfigurable Airborne Multi-Intelligence System (Ramis) was originally developed as a demonstrator for the U.S. Army and is now being offered to customers.

June 10, 2014 - 6:00pm

Nevada’s unmanned aircraft systems test site is ready to conduct “vital research” into integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the nation’s civil airspace system, the FAA announced yesterday. The FAA granted Nevada a two-year Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to use an Insitu ScanEagle UAS at Desert Rock Airport in Mercury. With the approval, Nevada is the third of six UAS test sites to become operational.

 
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