Northrop Grumman rolled out the X-47B UCAS-D (unmanned combat air system-demonstrator) in December 2008 and since then has been busy preparing the first of two vehicles for its maiden flight, expected shortly. Low- and high-speed trials have been completed at Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California, where the second X-47B is in final assembly.
UAVs and drones
Diamond Aircraft founder and CEO Christian Dries yesterday revealed plans to develop a fully aerobatic, tandem two-seat military trainer version of the D-Jet that he said will have ejection seats and sell for less than $3 million.
Ankara-based Turkish Aerospace Industries rolled out a new tactical medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV last Friday. Named Anka, the UAV has been developed to answer the Turkish armed forces’ TIHA (tactical UAV) requirement, but is also to be offered for export.
While the British are touting their UCAV capabilities to the world, the six European countries that have partnered to produce the Neuron UCAV demonstrator are quietly getting on with their own tasks.
The British government is reviewing a security agreement signed previously with the U.S. that could preclude future cooperation with Europe on unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs). Last week’s unveiling of the all-British Taranis stealthy UCAV demonstrator by BAE Systems has brought renewed focus on whether European governments and industry can or should unite to fully develop such a system.
The Saab Gripen NG demonstrator arrives at Farnborough today on the second leg of its international public debut, having spent the weekend at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford (seen in this photo). The Swedish government, which owns the aircraft, granted permission for its trip to the UK only on Thursday.
Amid tight security, the Taranis Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (shown above) was unveiled at BAE Systems Warton airfield last Monday. Uncleared visitors were not allowed to approach the aircraft, but the stealth-driven configuration seemed unchanged from artists’ impressions previously released. The Taranis concept demonstrator is due to fly next year from an undisclosed overseas airbase.
How cool is this? A high-altitude spyplane that can stay airborne for four days, driven by a liquid hydrogen power system, was unveiled last Monday at the Boeing Phantom Works in St. Louis, Missouri. Darryl Davis, the president of this advanced technology development shop, is here at the Farnborough show to describe rapid progress with the Phantom Eye program. A scale model is in the Boeing Pavilion here this week.
Many of the invited guests who witnessed the unveiling of the Taranis unmanned combat air vehicle at BAE Systems’s Warton plant last week won’t have