Boeing has been awarded a three-year $9.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop and demonstrate technologies that enable multiple small unmanned aerial vehicles to coordinate with each other and a manned airborne control station to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
India will test fly, in 2012, its indigenous airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system integrated onboard a modified Embraer EMB 145, an official involved in the project said.
Singapore-based Stratech Systems Ltd. yesterday signed an agreement covering the establishment of a joint venture with Israeli UAV specialists Aeronautics. The new entity, Stratech Aeronautics, will operate from Singapore and will initially fo-
cus on the Asia-Pacific region. Not only will the new teaming enhance and market its existing products, but will ultimately develop new offerings.
As was true of much of the industry, Israel Aerospace Industries saw a fairly steep dip in sales during 2009, largely due to a marked softening in demand on the civil side of its business. Published financial results for the first three quarters of 2009 showed sales slipping by about 25 percent on 2008 and there were few signs that the fourth quarter numbers will have reversed this trend.
Breaking with a tradition that has seen major military procurements signed and announced only in Abu Dhabi, the UAE government sealed deals for new training and AEW&C aircraft during the Dubai Airshow this month. Pilatus secured the new basic trainer, an order for 25 PC-21s worth $521 million, to also include several training simulators with all systems and services.
The Saab 340 AEW&C aircraft with Erieye radar, which is destined for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), took to the skies for the first time on Friday, flying from Saab’s Linkoping plant where airborne early warning and control conversion work is undertaken. Thailand has one AEW&C aircraft on order (plus another option), as part of a deal involving Gripen fighters.
One of the more unusual debutants at this year’s airshow is Israel Aerospace Industries’ HAROP loitering munition. A cross between an unmanned aerial vehicle and a bomb, HAROP is an expendable air vehicle that is launched from the box in which it is transported. The weapon can loiter over the battlefield for up to six hours, using its nose-mounted EO/IR sensor turret to spot targets or relay video imagery back to the control station.
The Teal Group’s latest Market Profile and Forecast for the unmanned aerial vehicle concludes that expenditure on UAVs will rise from an annual $4.4 billion in 2009 to $8.7 billion by 2018. At the same time, the aerospace analysis group forecasts a rise in UAV payload expenditure from $2 billion to nearly $5 billion.
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.
In the Israeli Pavilion, avionics specialist Rada Electronic Industries is unveiling a new line of compact avionics systems designed specifically for unmanned aerial vehicle applications. The company has developed a range of interface control processors, engine control and payload management computers, modular avionics and inertial navigation systems, and electrical power management units.