The British Army is using what may be the world’s smallest UAV yet deployed on military operations. The Black Hornet “nanocopter” is eight inches long with a rotor diameter of about five inches and weighs less than two pounds. It can provide video and still imagery of difficult-to-reconnoitre targets such as walled compounds and even the interior of buildings. It was recently introduced in Afghanistan and demonstrated in public for the first time last week during a pre-deployment exercise on Salisbury Plain in the UK, for the next British Army task force to be sent there.
This week’s IDEX defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi provided the first public view of the Saab 340AEW, purchased by the UAE Air Force and Air Defense as an interim airborne early-warning solution. One of two aircraft in service made a single flypast during a brief force demonstration. The air force’s latest acquisition, the Airbus A330 MRTT, also flew past, accompanied by four Mirage 2000-9 fighters, just days after being delivered. The remaining pair from the UAE’s order will be delivered later this year.
India’s indigenous airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system made its debut at Aero India 2013. The Embraer 145 flew on the opening day and remained in the static for two more days. A cutaway scale model on display revealed the operator positions and equipment placement, and further details were made available by the Center for Air Borne Systems of Defense Research and Development Organization (CABS-DRDO).
The integration of the Indo-Russian BrahMos missile on 40 of the Indian air force (IAF) Su-30MKI fleet of combat aircraft is proceeding this year. The land- and ship-launched version of the highly maneuverable, supersonic, anti-ship cruise missile have already been tested successfully.
Embraer Defense and Security and AEL Systems, the Brazilian subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems, signed an agreement to accept unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) developer Avibras as a shareholder in their UAS-focused joint venture, Harpia Systems.
Embraer believes it stands to benefit from the Indian military’s desire to maximize commonality in its fleet of aircraft in a bid to control maintenance costs. Five of the Brazilian manufacturer’s Legacy jets are in use with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Border Security Force for functions such as transporting government officials and visiting foreign dignitaries.
Northrop Grumman is at the Aero India show highlighting capabilities in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) including airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye for maritime reconnaissance and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Northrop Grumman selected a Telephonics multimode surveillance radar to equip U.S. Navy MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopters under a rapid deployment capability program. The company awarded Telephonics a $33 million contract for the production, integration and testing of nine radar systems.
The latest application for the DB-110 reconnaissance pod is on display at the UTC Aerospace Systems stand (1854). Ten examples of the dual-band, high-resolution system have been sold to the Royal Saudi Air Force and can be flown on the RSAF’s existing F-15S Strike Eagles, as well as its new, yet-to-be-delivered fleet of F-15SA jets. The DB-110 has already been sold to nine air forces operating F-16s. These include the Pakistan Air Force, whose commander showed imagery from the system during his presentation to the Air Chiefs’ Conference here Saturday.
Israel had prevented Boeing from delivering two Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish air force, but has now agreed to lift its restriction, according to a November 9 report in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. AIN understands that the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) provides the vital electronic support measures (ESM) system for all the Wedgetails sold to date–four to Turkey, four to Korea and six to Australia. Northrop Grumman provides the core AEW radar system. Both Boeing and IAI declined to comment on the matter.