The recent commencement of low-altitude Customs and Immigration patrols by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) along the Arizona/Mexico border and the earlier nonstop, totally automated, transpacific and transatlantic flights above FL600 by the USAF’s Global Hawk (AIN, December, page 54) are strong signals that one day the altitude gap between these two will close, and we’ll have unmanned aircraft sharing our airspace. When will that day arrive?
RQ-4 Global Hawk
Northrop Grumman delivered the first production LN-120G GPS-aided stellar-inertial navigation system to the U.S. Air Force last month, to begin the update of the service’s 31 RC-135 Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft.
Northrop Grumman has selected the Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) radar from the corporation’s Electronic Systems division to equip its entry in the BAMS competition. The Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program is being run by the U.S. Navy for an unmanned maritime patrol aircraft capable of medium-altitude, long-endurance patrols.
Boeing has revealed a surprise entry for the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) competition. While two rival bids use High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Boeing is adapting the Gulfstream G550 to fly the mission manned or unmanned.
Boeing has revealed a surprise and innovative entry for the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) competition. While two rival bids use High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Boeing is adapting the Gulfstream G550 business jet to fly the mission manned or unmanned.
By the time the U.S. Air Force took delivery of its 120th Predator unmanned air vehicle, nearly half of them (56) had been destroyed–some to enemy fire, but most to accidents. No pilots were harmed in the making of this statistic, of course. But at $4 million per Predator, that’s $224 million, a cost that cannot be ignored. And other UAVs have had similar problems.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is arguably the fastest growing aspect of present-day aviation. Unmanned combat aerial vehicles are revolutionizing the conduct of military operations, and some law enforcement, border security and other civil activities are being undertaken by UAVs as well. Very small hand-launched models are aiding soldiers, while police and firemen will soon be able to search inside buildings where danger lurks.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently published for comment a roadmap for the routine operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in U.S. national airspace.
The landing gear extension and retraction system for the Airbus A380 and the Boeing KC-767A tanker mission system are among Smiths Aerospace’s most visible contributions to this year’s Paris Air Show, but they are just the tip of a highly diversified iceberg, according to the group’s president, Dr. John Ferrie.
The largest multinational industrial consortium yet assembled for a defense program will gather this morning to brief on progress on the e4-billion-plus Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program for NATO. No fewer than 23 nations are involved in the TIPS consortium, whose mixed-fleet proposal was endorsed by NATO last year.