Get ready for some serious angst. The FAA reauthorization just passed by the U.S. House and Senate includes specific direction to the FAA regarding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Elements of the legislation include a Sept.
Unmanned aerial vehicle
The Pentagon is now spending $3.3 billion annually to develop and buy unmanned aerial systems (UAS), but this sum is still only 8 percent of the total devoted to all aircraft, according to a new report on UAS by the U.S. Congressional Research Service. The report mostly rehashes previously published material, but it does contain an updated inventory of UAS platforms in service provided by the DoD’s UAS Task Force.
I have been following with interest the developing story of how Iran has reportedly managed to capture some of the U.S.’s most sensitive surveillance technology, and I still have to shake my head at what a waste it was.
The American subsidiary of MBDA has bought the Viper Strike weapons business and production line from Northrop Grumman. The Huntsville, Ala.-based activity was Northrop Grumman’s only business unit to offer a direct-fires weapon. This is MBDA’s first acquisition in the U.S., where the pan-European company wants to expand “through a combination of acquisitions, organic growth and partnerships with other prime contractors.”
Iran claimed December 4 to have shot down a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel UAV along the country’s eastern border. Five days later, an almost intact airframe closely resembling the secret airframe was shown on Iranian television. The NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul admitted that operators of “a US unarmed reconnaissance UAV” had lost control of it during “a mission over western Afghanistan late last week”.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) of California belatedly revealed that its Lynx multimode radar had been flown successfully on an aerostat during a U.S. Air Force exercise last July.
Cassidian, the global security solutions and systems giant and subsidiary of EADS, is focusing on its unmanned air systems capability, as well as highlighting its security and communications activities in the Gulf region.
Swiss company Unmanned Systems is showing a model of its Orca rotary-wing unmanned air vehicle for the first time here at Dubai. The Orca employs a revolutionary tip-jet propulsion method that not only improves performance in many key areas, but also overcomes many of the operational problems encountered with conventional propulsion methods.
Arguably the most impressive new design on display at Dubai is Adcom Systems’ latest unmanned air vehicle, the United 40. Based in Abu Dhabi, the company has forged a reputation for taking innovative approaches to UAV and aerial target design, and the United 40 does not disappoint due to its tandem-wing layout and dramatic S-shaped fuselage.
Leading Italian exhibitors at the Dubai show are demonstrating the company’s increasing capability in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.