Evergreen Helicopters is flying in unmanned systems teams using an Elbit Systems Skylark I mini man-pack UAV to map Haitian relief. The small UAV was used to search for signs of life at orphanages in the remote mountains outside Port-au-Prince following the January earthquake. Boulder slides cut off ground access to many of these facilities. The Skylark flew at altitudes up to 5,200 feet.
UAVs and drones
Singapore-based Stratech Systems Ltd. yesterday signed an agreement covering the establishment of a joint venture with Israeli UAV specialists Aeronautics. The new entity, Stratech Aeronautics, will operate from Singapore and will initially fo-
cus on the Asia-Pacific region. Not only will the new teaming enhance and market its existing products, but will ultimately develop new offerings.
Helicopters can perform a wide array of useful tasks that cannot be done at all or as well in a fixed-wing aircraft, so it probably stands to reason that an unmanned rotorcraft would soon prove its worth alongside fixed-wing unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 is fast finding acceptance for a variety of applications, such as pipeline surveillance for an undisclosed customer in Malaysia.
Singapore last year joined the expanding list of countries that have tested and/or introduced the ScanEagle, a UAV that was designed in the 1990s as a maritime monitoring tool that could be launched and recovered by fishing ships. The world being a dangerous place, military surveillance applications have long since become the staple diet for the makers, Insitu.
EADS is moving forward with its Talarion medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV, with an eye to flying it in 2014. In the meantime, its Barracuda demonstrator is gearing up for a series of trials to demonstrate the employment of UAVs in a netcentric environment.
The U.S. Air Force has finally acknowledged the existence of a stealthy air vehicle operating over Afghanistan, after another photo of the so-called “Beast of Kandahar” was published on the French Web site Secret Defense. Designated the RQ-170 Sentinel, the tailless flying wing was designed by the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, and is providing reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward-deployed combat forces, the USAF said.
Last weekend BAE Systems concluded the first flight trial campaign of its Mantis UAV, the world’s first twin-engine autonomous large UAV. Although the UK Ministry of Defence remains coy about details, AIN understands that the first flight was on October 21, and that the aircraft flew five times.
Alenia Aeronautica plans to begin training, early next year, employees of Strata, the new composites aerostructures company formed by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co. The Italian group, which has extensive experience with composites manufacturing, has been partnered with Mubadala (Stand C510) in the venture since October, when the sovereign wealth fund signed an agreement with its parent Finmeccanica (Stand C420).
Selex Galileo, which produces the Falco tactical UAV, has recently integrated multiple reconnaissance sensors on the vehicle. With an mtow of only 1,078 pounds, the Falco may be the smallest UAV to carry both video and radar sensors. The Anglo-Italian company manufactures the sensors and the ground control system, as well as the air vehicle and its avionics.
Last month Saab announced a partnership with Ultra Electronics’ UK-based Communication and Integrated Systems division covering the joint exploration and exploitation of the market for vertical takeoff and land unmanned aerial vehicle systems (VTUAS). Earlier, in May, Saab announced another partnership with Swiss UAV, which added the Neo and Koax vehicles to create a VTUAS family along with the Saab-developed Skeldar.