A second copy of the Barracuda combat UAV demonstrator made four successful flights from Goose Bay, Labrador, according to EADS. The first Barracuda crashed on an early test flight in Spain in 2006. The demonstrator flew autonomously with monitoring from the ground station for safety purposes only, EADS said. The tests form part of the “Agile UAV in Network Centric Environment (NCE)” study commissioned by the German Defence Ministry.
More than a year after U.S. defense officials offered three RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft as a replacement for the same number of Royal Air Force BAE Nimrod R1 signals intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft, the UK Ministry of Defence has not made a decision.
One of the more unusual debutants at this year’s airshow is Israel Aerospace Industries’ HAROP loitering munition. A cross between an unmanned aerial vehicle and a bomb, HAROP is an expendable air vehicle that is launched from the box in which it is transported. The weapon can loiter over the battlefield for up to six hours, using its nose-mounted EO/IR sensor turret to spot targets or relay video imagery back to the control station.
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).
Northrop Grumman’s AN/ZPY-1 STARLite unmanned aerial vehicle radar begins tests with the U.S. Army next month aboard the General Atomics MQ-1C Sky Warrior ERMP. In October, the company is to deliver the first qualified production units.
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.
In the Israeli Pavilion, avionics specialist Rada Electronic Industries is unveiling a new line of compact avionics systems designed specifically for unmanned aerial vehicle applications. The company has developed a range of interface control processors, engine control and payload management computers, modular avionics and inertial navigation systems, and electrical power management units.
Aerodrones (Hall 4 Stand CD61bis) is here with its portable ground control station for unmanned aerial vehicles and the 2009 version of the built-in software. Aerodrones claims to have an intuitive interface. The user can turn on the computer and have
all mission plans and tools available in less than 30 seconds.
Long-established as a major supplier of systems for a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs, L-3 Communications is moving up a step to offer complete unmanned air systems, including vehicle platforms. Blending the group’s existing elements with carefully chosen acquisitions has put L-3 in a position from where it can span the entire UAS market space with fully integrated solutions.