BAE Systems canceled a briefing here yesterday on Anglo-French collaboration for the next generation of UAVs. The company had hoped that ministers from both countries would be ready to announce joint funding for further studies of medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAVs and a future combat air system (FCAS).
AgustaWestland’s AW159 Lynx Wildcat has moved closer to being fully operational. The initial release into service for the British Army model was issued last April and the first operational flight came on June 18. The AW159 is the successor of the Lynx helicopter family although the only major components in common with the earlier Lynx design are the main rotor blades and rotor head.
MBDA has unveiled a mockup and video depiction of SPEAR, a turbojet-powered air-surface missile for the UK Royal Air Force. SPEAR stands for selective precision effects at range and the missile is intended for launch from the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) at ranges in excess of 100 km.
Saab’s confidence in a growing sector has resulted in the company investing in a demonstrator platform for its 340 maritime security aircraft (MSA) offering. The aircraft’s conversion was completed last month, in time to begin customer demonstrations and appearances at a series of trade exhibitions, beginning with this week’s Farnborough International Airshow.
With the procurement of the RQ-20A Puma AE for the first time, the U.S. Marine Corps has adopted four different small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) manufactured by AeroVironment, of Monrovia, Calif. The service placed a $5.5 million order for Puma systems under an existing Army contract, with delivery planned in two weeks, AeroVironment reported.
America’s Aloha State learned recently that flying around Hawaiian airports means connecting with the FAA at some point. As part of a $1.4 million federal grant to upgrade Honolulu port security, the state’s transportation department purchased an unmmaned aircraft with HD cameras to track activity on the ground.
On March 14 the Senate passed the $52.9 billion federal highway bill (S.1803), which contains significant amendments regarding helicopter tour operations over national parks. Of particular concern is a successful amendment to the bill offered by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) that would give the director of the National Park Service (NPS) broad authority to regulate helicopter and fixed-wing tour flights over land under its administration as well as tribal lands, a move that the air-tour business nationwide regards as debilitating.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could soon be coming to civil airspace near you and the FAA wants to know what you think. The safety considerations of mixing piloted aircraft in NextGen airspace with those flown by people on the ground or even totally by computer are a serious concern for most aviators.
Sources at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego released the names of the seven soldiers killed in last week’s midair collision under clear night skies between an AH-1W “Cobra” and an UH-1Y “Huey.” A spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar said the investigation is expected to take months and refused to comment on any possible causes for the collision.
Raytheon has just conducted a successful trial of its Griffin B forward-launch small precision weapon. The test demonstrated the weapon’s capability to defend a forward operating base (FOB). The Griffin was fired from a fixed Wedge launcher against target coordinates more than 2.5 miles away provided by sensors mounted on a tethered aerostat, of the type that are typically raised to protect Army FOBs. The Griffin A aft-launch version is in service with the U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Harvest Hawk aircraft and the Air Force’s MC-130W Dragon Spear.