Israeli EO/IR expert Controp has added a number of new products to its extensive range of sensor payloads, and they are on display here on its stand in the Israeli National Pavilion. Leading the debutants is T-STAMP, the latest member of its STAMP family of lightweight payloads for small aircraft, UAVs and helicopters.
Aerodrones (Hall 4 Stand CD61bis) is here with its portable ground control station for unmanned aerial vehicles and the 2009 version of the built-in software. Aerodrones claims to have an intuitive interface. The user can turn on the computer and have
all mission plans and tools available in less than 30 seconds.
Long-established as a major supplier of systems for a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs, L-3 Communications is moving up a step to offer complete unmanned air systems, including vehicle platforms. Blending the group’s existing elements with carefully chosen acquisitions has put L-3 in a position from where it can span the entire UAS market space with fully integrated solutions.
Civil certification of unmanned aerial vehicles has taken on new momentum over the past few years with the realization that there could be a large number of potential uses for them–from law enforcement to, eventually, air cargo. A UK-based European consortium now claims to be leading the world to get UAVs approved for flights in civil airspace in conjunction with Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Alenia Aeronautica’s Sky-Y unmanned technology demonstrator has completed its most recent series of tests in Italy. The Sky-Y has made 19 flights, in Sweden and in its home country, and the Finmeccanica subsidiary (Hall 2 Stand A165) claims that it is the only entirely European unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to have begun flight testing.
The X-47B is the only stealthy UAV under development that is currently acknowledged by the Pentagon–unless you count the recently revealed Predator-C, which General Atomics says has been built with the company’s own funds.
Israel’s Elbit Systems has announced an agreement between its U.S.-based subsidiary and General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products to develop unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. government customers. The cooperative venture known as UAS Dynamics and based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, will produce aircraft for programs such as the U.S.
This promises to be a milestone year for BAE Systems’ growing unmanned air systems business with the first flights of both the demonstrator for the Mantis persistent ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) aircraft and of the production-standard Herti. On top of this, the UK group will complete manufacturing of its new Taranis demonstrator.
If all goes well, the German air force could be the first air arm to routinely operate a military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in European airspace. The first Euro Hawk should fly from the U.S. to the Manching test base in southern German during mid-2010 and begin operational flight evaluations from Schleswig-Jagel air base a year later.
Alenia Aeronautica is claiming leadership in Europe of unmanned aircraft development, following the recent completion of new flight tests of the Sky-Y demonstrator. The five flights took place within specially designated airspace in the Puglia region of Italy, and followed 14 earlier flights on the test range at Vidsel in northern Sweden.