Although developed to help answer the UK’s surveillance requirements, the BAE Systems Mantis unmanned air vehicle technology demonstrator has become the focus of wider interest from elsewhere in Europe. The UAV is seen now as a potential platform to answer the time-critical requirements of France and Italy, as well as the UK itself, and will inevitably draw interest from other nations such as Germany and Spain.
Selex Galileo (Stand J39) believes it can become a key player in defense electronics in Southeast Asia. Here at the Singapore Airshow, the Finmeccanica subsidiary is promoting defensive aids, electro-optical (EO) sensors for maritime surveillance and active array radars.
Selex Galileo, which produces the Falco tactical UAV, has recently integrated multiple reconnaissance sensors on the vehicle. With an mtow of only 1,078 pounds, the Falco may be the smallest UAV to carry both video and radar sensors. The Anglo-Italian company manufactures the sensors and the ground control system, as well as the air vehicle and its avionics.
The world financial crisis is hitting military budgets as well as commercial aviation, forcing Finmeccanica, Italy’s leading defense and aerospace group, to keep a close eye on the evolving situation.
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.
Selex Sistemi Integrati of Italy has introduced its first small radar, weighing only 55 pounds and aimed at “homeland protection” applications. Lyra 10, a prototype of which Selex is displaying at the show (Hall 4 Stand A5), can detect “people, vehicles, boats and low-altitude helicopters up to a range of 24 km (15 miles),” said the Finmeccanica company.
BAE Systems unveils the Mantis UAV at its outdoor exhibition site today. The Mantis, shown in full-scale model form, is armed with GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and Brimstone missiles on its six weapon pylons. The twin-prop, T-tailed vehicle is equipped with a multi-sensor turret and radar under the fuselage, and a satcom antenna in the upper nose section. It employs a triplex flight control system.
Analysis and simulation of operations by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is not always an easy task because of the need to consider the broad C4-ISTAR picture, often in a joint scenario. However, being able to verify mission requirements and to validate concepts of operation before buying new systems is certainly of value to military clients.
Asia is a prime potential market for Selex Systemi Integrati’s turnkey capability in air defense systems, air traffic management and airport communications systems. The Italian group, which set up shop in Singapore in 1972, most recently supplied mobile air traffic control systems to the Singapore Air Force and has established a terminal maneuvering area system for the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) at Changi Airport.
The Airborne Tactical Observation & Surveillance (ATOS) system developed by Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems (Stand A1029) has been a key feature of the equipment fitted to the ATR 42MP (maritime patrol) aircraft that has been in service for several years. Now the system is available in a more compact form as Atos C, and has been installed in the Britten-Norman Defender 4000.