Honeywell Aerospace said its unmanned T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle has flown several missions in support of disaster-remediation efforts at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan.
An improved version of the Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk mini-UAV is now operating with the British Army in Afghanistan. The hand-launched system has an improved video sensor and a larger wing. The UK is the only announced customer for the Desert Hawk.
Honeywell’s recent move to quite literally get closer to its defense customers around the world is paying dividends quickly in Asia, as the U.S. group seeks to capitalize on the fact that military markets here are growing by between 4 and 8 percent each year–unlike those in the West that are flat or shrinking.
The U.S. military is preparing to deploy a small number of unmanned “micro air vehicles” in Iraq in an effort to stem the damage caused by roadside bombs.
Built by Honeywell using ducted-fan technology, each MAV is small enough to fit in a backpack and can be used by soldiers with minimal training. It normally flies between 10 and 500 feet and relays video back to a handheld terminal.
Some three weeks after closing negotiations to buy defense logistics contractor Dimensions International, Honeywell Defense and Space president Ed Wheeler prepared to travel to Paris “feeling good” about the company’s position, notwithstanding the tumultuous political environment in the U.S. “We don’t expect to see great upsets in budgets and whatnot, certainly not as long as troops are in harm’s way,” Wheeler said.
Among the defense products on display at Honeywell’s Farnborough International exhibit one that is likely to catch the eye is the new micro air vehicle (MAV) that the company has developed for the U.S. Army’s future combat systems program. The MAV has undergone extensive field testing, including some service with active military units (presumably in Iraq and/or Afghanistan).