Northrop Grumman delivered the first MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter to the U.S. Navy earlier this month in preparation for ground and flight testing. The first MQ-8C arrived at the Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., Point Mugu sea test range, where it is assigned to the VX-30 air test and evaluation squadron.
NASA started flight testing a prototype data link radio from Rockwell Collins to support the planned introduction of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the U.S. National Airspace System.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) announced new features on the sensors available for the Predator/Reaper series. The company’s Lynx Block 20A multimode radar now has a “VideoSAR” software system and the ability to auto cross-cue to an EO/IR sensor.
Israeli sensor specialist Controp Precision Technologies is launching the latest member of its sensor payload family here at le Bourget. The Speed-A is an electro-optical/infrared sensor that is tailored for use with lighter-than-air (LTA) platforms. The system is already operational in Israel and with the Canadian army, the latter having deployed the system overseas for use with the Aeronautics Skystar 300 aerostat. Controp has recently added a new customer for the Speed-A in Europe.
As well as being a well-known manufacturer of UAVs and provider of special-mission aircraft conversions, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI, Chalet A206, Static B37 & B40) produces a wide range of sensors and payloads that are employed in the ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) role. A selection is being presented here at Paris, with a number of new systems on show.
With president and CEO Joseph Weiss completing his first year in office, IAI has a relatively new cadre of top management executives, but remains focused on the development of new systems and technologies to face future challenges. A key element of the company’s strategy for sustained growth and development is cooperation with its customers, with governments and with other companies, both at home and overseas.
Europe should stop trying to build a “me-too” version of the Reaper Male unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and concentrate instead on a stealthy unmanned combat air system (UCAS), because the U.S. will not export that technology. That was the advice offered at the Paris Air Show yesterday by Frank Pace, president of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (Hall 3 Stand A82).
A Heron 1 medium-altitude long-endurance UAV from IAI has recently participated in a demonstration of unmanned operations in civilian airspace, undertaken at Murcia-San Javier in Spain. The airfield is a military training base but is also used by commercial aircraft, and the operations of the UAV were timed to coincide with those by other airport users.
The state of Oklahoma believes that it has the resources to be among the leading U.S. states in commercializing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). But this spring, the state’s political leaders were disappointed by the findings of a UAS economic impact study that ranked California, Washington, Texas, Florida and Arizona as the top five states expected to see the most in terms of immediate job growth and revenue when UAS are integrated into the National Airspace System.
While the long-term goal for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is for 80 percent of their uses to be in the civilian sector, their main uses currently remain in the military sphere–although their role in border surveillance and disaster situations is increasing.