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.
UAVs and drones
Athena Technologies (Hall 6, Stand B1/C1), a maker of flight controls for unmanned aerial vehicles, successfully demonstrated a “damage tolerant” automatic control system and autonomous landing capabilities on a scale model of an Boeing F/A-18 powered by a turbojet engine, the company announced.
Two of Europe’s manned combat air vehicle programs have taken significant strides in recent times. The Neuron UCAV technical demonstrator is being built by a Dassault-led team with partners in Sweden, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Spain. From official notification in February 2006, the team has established an efficient structure for industrial cooperation, leading to a satisfactory interim review in September.
Dominating IAI’s exhibit area here at Le Bourget is the Heron TP, a turboprop-powered medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV. It is the first public showing of this craft, whose 85-foot wingspan nearly rivals that of an ATR 72 airliner, which is five times heavier. Heron TP is the latest and largest of a long line of UAVs developed by IAI’s Malat Division.
Elbit has chosen the Paris Air Show to unveil its latest unmanned air vehicle design–the Hermes 900. Pitched as a tactical medium-altitude long-endurance vehicle, the yet-to-fly Hermes 900 fits neatly in size between the company’s Hermes 450 and the larger twin-engine Hermes 1500.
The number of unmanned air vehicles in our skies is growing fast, but there are many regulatory and doctrinal issues to resolve, before UAVs and their ground and underwater-based cousins will operate routinely.
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.
French-based Flying Robots is here showing an unusual unmanned air vehicle (UAV) that looks like a paraglider with a powered payload. According to company president Michel Lallement, the FR101 is a low-cost alternative to conventional drones.
The final configuration of the Thales Watchkeeper UAV for the British Army is unveiled here, outside the Thales pavilion. Now that the critical design review is successfully accomplished, Thales is showing this intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) system to other potential customers.
The U.S. military is preparing to deploy a small number of unmanned “micro air vehicles” in Iraq in an effort to stem the damage caused by roadside bombs.
Built by Honeywell using ducted-fan technology, each MAV is small enough to fit in a backpack and can be used by soldiers with minimal training. It normally flies between 10 and 500 feet and relays video back to a handheld terminal.