UAVs and UCAVs

nrj

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The Great UAV Shortage

The Great UAV Shortage

May 8, 2010: The U.S. Department of Defense has 6,500 UAVs available, and with the demand in Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas of high counter-terrorism activity, there are not enough to go around. Afghanistan gets priority, and this has led to complaints from other areas where the shortage is giving local Islamic radicals a cloak of anonymity they would not have if there were more UAVs around.

Most of those 6,500 UAVs are very small (under ten pound) aircraft like the Raven. These only stay in the air for an hour per sortie, and have a short range. The UAVs that are in most demand are larger ones, like the 159 kg (350 pound) Shadow-200 and Predator class (one ton and up) vehicles.

In response, the Department of Defense is building a lot more UAVs, and will have over 8,000 within two years. Also, some of the secondary theaters (like Somalia, and other parts of Africa) are getting more UAVs, mainly by moving those withdrawn from Iraq, south. Units back in the United States, have fewer UAVs to train with. These units get more UAVs when they go overseas. But Afghanistan still has priority, and will for a while.
 

kannarao

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Two Nishant UAVs Crash-Landed in Jaisalmer village

Villagers at Indo-Pak border in Jaisalmer district had some awful moments when two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) landed in their fields recently. A few villagers, after finding the vehicles unmanned, dismantled them and took away some of its parts.

Though Air Force officials are mum over the incident, it was learnt that the two Nishant UAVs, during a trial, had lost their way due to change in wind direction and they were landed through parachute. The vehicles were towed away from the spot and are being repaired at present.

With two UAVs crash landings in three days, effectiveness of Defense Research and Development Organization's (DRDO) Nishant UAVs has come under scanner. Though officials of the armed forces through their portal have expressed satisfaction over the test results, situation at ground zero tells a different story.

Last week on April 28 and 30, two trial runs at the Pokhran field firing range resulted into crash landing and that too outside the set range, resulting in damage to the vehicles.
 

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Laser Power Beaming Aimed At UAVs

A company that won a NASA prize for beaming power to a climber in a space-elevator competition is targeting unmanned aircraft as an initial application for its laser-based technology.

LaserMotive says power beaming could extend the endurance of electrically powered UAVs. The company plans to fly a small internally funded demonstrator by year's end.


The Seattle-based company has had discussions with some UAV manufacturers, and could have working prototypes of the system available within 18 months, says Tom Nugent, president and co-founder.

The demonstrator, based on a small unmanned helicopter, will reuse the hardware from the 2009 Space Elevator Games, where LaserMotive won a $900,000 prize for powering a robot up a kilometer-long cable.

The system would route power from arrays of near-infrared laser diodes to a beam director that would track the UAV and keep the beam pointed at photovoltaic cells on the airframe. These would convert the laser light to electricity to power the UAV or recharge its batteries to extend endurance.

LaserMotive foresees three possible applications: stationary platforms:, such as a high-altitude airship, that would operate indefinitely under constant laser power: extended-endurance aircraft that would operate away from the beaming station, returning to recharge when the batteries run low; and laser-powered UAVs that would stay on patrol within line-of-sight of the beaming station, which also could be mobile.

Because heavier unmanned aircraft are gasoline or kerosene fueled, the company initially is targeting makers of small electric-powered UAVs, Nugent says. Extending their endurance would reduce the number of vehicles and manpower required, he says.

To deliver 1kW of DC power to a UAV with current technology would require a 2kW beam and 4kW of input power to the laser diodes, but some small vehicles need only 100-200W, Nugent says. Laser beams of a kilowatt and higher will require development of safety systems to ensure the beam is switched off when not pointing at the vehicle, he says.


Source
 

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UAVs made in Punjab

Chandigarh, May 9: Punjab — famous for its agriculture, textiles and bicycles — is now aiming for the sky.

A private firm will supply unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the eyes in the sky to be used to track Maoists in inhospitable terrain, besides the familiar job of watching enemy movements across the border. Ludhiana's Bhogal Hobby Tech — a group better known for its cycles — will supply UAVs to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Bhogal claims its UAV is similar to the Israeli version that Indian security forces use for training purposes. Each Israeli machine costs around Rs 16 lakh, while the Indian version will come for half the price.


"The IAF has ordered five UAVs and we expect the navy and the army to do the same," company managing partner Manjeev Bhogal said. The air force placed the orders after conducting comprehensive all-weather trials.

An IAF officer at the Chandigarh air base said the locally-built UAVs would initially be used for training. "They can also be used for reconnaissance. They are as good, if not better, than the Israeli version. We will also be looking for India-made larger versions," he said.

Powered by an 86cc petrol engine, Bhogal's UAV has a wing-span of 14 feet. A handler has to fly the model for 25 hours before qualifying as a "pilot" — operating the device from the ground rather than in the air.

Manjeev promised better versions. "We can produce more powerful versions for the security forces." The company, he said, can also design and manufacture UAVs that can carry loads — unlike the conventional ones that are not designed to fly with anything.

Defence officials believe UAVs can be used to protect sensitive installations, such as nuclear units.

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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Army_Surpasses_One_Million_Unmanned_Flight_Hours_999.html

Army Surpasses One Million Unmanned Flight Hours


The Army's one millionth Unmanned Aerial System flight hour marks a window in time through which to view a broader trajectory of explosive change and expansion - one in which the advent of UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan have added more eyes to the fight, found and destroyed more enemies and saved more lives - all the while altering the way the Army operates on a modern asymmetrical battlefield.

"The ability to have eyes out forward becomes a true combat multiplier," said Col. Gregory Gonzalez, project manager, Army UAS.

The growth in UAS since the beginning of OEF and OIF is staggering - the Army inventory jumped from a handful of systems in 2001 to roughly 1,000 aircraft by 2010 and is now logging up to 25,000 of UAV flight hours per month in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Army surpassed the one million unmanned-hour mark in April of 2010.

"Ninety-five percent of what the Army has in its inventory today did not even exist at the beginning of the war," said Tim Owings, deputy program manager, Army UAS. "A lot of people liken Vietnam to a helicopter war - I liken these two wars as the unmanned systems wars because these are the wars where these systems hit the central axis of the way we fight and became part and parcel to the way the Army prosecutes wars."

Roughly 900,000 of the one million flight hours have taken place since the current wars began; it took 13 years to put together the first 100,000 hours, Owings said. About 88-percent of these flight hours are from time in combat.

At the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army possessed only a few Shadow and Hunter UAS Systems.

"We had a couple systems at Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Huachuca, Ariz. At that time we were flying minimal hours, we were sort of in the background in terms of big Army. The Army had other missions and other needs," said Owings.

However, the value of adding electronic "eyes" in the sky to units conducting counterinsurgency missions on the ground quickly proved indispensable to the current war effort - driving a demand to rapidly multiply the amount of UAS systems produced and deployed.

The hand-held Raven UAS, medium-altitude Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) UAS and the hover-and-stare, two-foot long, vertical take-off gas-powered Micro Air Vehicle (gMAV) are among the new UAVs added to the fleet in the last seven to eight years; the Army now operates 87 Shadow UAS systems, 6 Hunter systems, 9 ERMP variants, 1,300 Raven systems and 16 gMAV systems.

A Quick Reaction Capability (QRC) of four ERMP aircraft were deployed to Iraq last year --and another ERMP QRC is slated for Afghanistan later this year. The ERMPs heading to Afghanistan will be armed with Hellfire missiles under each wing. The idea of the QRC is to field technologies in service of the ongoing war effort as they are available while simultaneously developing a system as a program of record, Gonzalez said.

Since the early days of the war, the Army has worked vigorously to keep pace with a seemingly insatiable demand for more UAVs in theater.

"It has been absolutely amazing, no matter how many we have built there has always been a need for more," Owings said.

At the same time, while managing the vastly increasing wartime demands for more ISR, the Army worked aggressively to integrate and upgrade its growing fleet of systems.

"We went through some rapid integration efforts to get additional systems a lot of upgrades to improve reliability to the systems we had. We added a lot of improvements to the mission by adding new payloads," said Gonzalez.

The rapid addition of hundreds of UAVs to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has lead to innovations such as communications relay and the use of manned-unmanned teaming wherein helicopter pilots work in tandem with nearby UAS assets.

"Manned aircraft and scout aircraft are limited by how long the pilots can stay up there. When you start to add a day and night capability [with UAS] that can stay up for extended periods, you can keep an eye on a lot more. Then, you can call in the manned aircraft to take out a target," said Gonzalez.

"Pilots have not only embraced the concept but they are trying to get more manned/unmanned teaming."

UAS minimize risk to pilots by flying into "hot" areas ahead of helicopters; they can even function as a communication node on a network connected forces separated by terrain.

"If there are ground units separated by mountain ranges, we can allow two ground units to talk to each other through UAS--- pass voice coms and data coms over terrain which would typically cause radio obscurance," said Owings.

Along these lines, the Army now operates Manned-Unmanned Teaming technology in which gives Apache pilots the ability to view real-time UAV feeds from within the cockpit of the aircraft.

The Army is testing the next-generation of this technology which allows the pilots to not only view the UAV feeds in the cockpit but direct their flight and payloads as well. The Army's now-in-development next-generation Block III Apache is involved in a pilot program testing this cutting-edge capability.

"The ability of the Apache crew to see the battle space through the eyes of the UAV's sensor gives the pilots unprecedented perspective and situational awareness - perspective and awareness that can be shared with our Soldiers on the ground.

This capability shortens sensor to shooter timelines and improves the overall integration between the air and ground elements," said Col. Shane Openshaw, Project Manager
, Apache.

The Army plans to expand the manned-unmanned teaming program to include the Kiowa Warrior fleet as well, Owings said. Also, a recently completed Army study called 'Aviation 2' calls for Shadow UAS systems to be formally added to Kiowa units as a way to maximize manned-unmanned teaming opportunities, Gonzalez said.

The Army's future plans for UAS systems are articulated in its recently unveiled UAS roadmap, which suggests that more aircraft missions will contain an unmanned component or capability.

"Aviation brigades don't want to go to war without unmanned systems. They see these things as the hunting dogs in front of the hunters - the eyes of the Army," said Owings. "They are out in front looking - allowing them to engage targets that they couldn't see before, see things at ranges they couldn't' see before and attack things they couldn't attack before."
 

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Boeing rolls out Phantom Ray ahead of December flight debut

Boeing rolled out a flight-ready Phantom Ray unmanned air system demonstrator on 10 May, but first flight remains scheduled for December.

The flying-wing design is heavily based on the X-45C programme cancelled by the US Air Force in 2006, but the roll-out event in St Louis, Missouri revealed an all-new ground control station.

Boeing plans to complete up to 10 flight tests with the Phantom Ray in 2011, says programme manager Craig Brown. The effort is typical of a new company strategy to develop new platforms ahead of a requirement defined by the US Department of Defense.



But the programme also benefits from nearly a decade of investment on the X-45C by the US Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which envisaged the aircraft penetrating hostile airspace and preying on surface-to-air missile batteries.

The Phantom Ray, with a 16,500kg (36,500lb) gross weight, is not expected to carry sensors or weapons during the flight tests. But the demonstration aims to achieve more by checking out the flying qualities of the 15.2m (50ft)-wingspan UAS, which is powered by a non-afterburning General Electric F404-102D engine.

Boeing's new ground station intends to introduce advanced levels of autonomy. Similar to the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, the Phantom Ray will be piloted on the ground using a mouse and a keyboard.

"It's like sitting at a computer at your desk," Brown says.

Boeing so far has not determined if the aircraft will require a separate sensor operator.

The demonstration next year involves controlling only one flying aircraft, but Boeing hopes the data can be extrapolated for research on concepts for controlling four flying aircraft with a single pilot, Brown says.

"If we take a look at the requirements to be able to safely and repeatedly control one air vehicle with one pilot, then we've got the confidence to move on to the second air vehicle," he says.

Boeing previously offered the X-45C to the US Navy for the unmanned combat air systems-demonstrator programme, but lost to Northrop's X-47B.

Boeing does not expect the Phantom Ray to compete for a new USN requirement called the unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike system, Brown says.

"For the resources it would take to navalise Phantom Ray," he says, Boeing will probably decide to "spend them somewhere else".

http://www.flightglobal.com/article...out-phantom-ray-ahead-of-december-flight.html
 

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U.S. Army's UAV Road Map

If the Army's plans for UAVs go as planned, the following trends will develop between now and 2035.

  • Unmanned aerial systems could become so individualized that every soldier will have one.


The Army envisions a 1:1 ratio of soldiers to handheld UAVs.

In an ideal world, every soldier will have a flying robot. "We're talking about getting into nanotechnology that will allow us to reduce unmanned systems' size to the point that a soldier would not have to stand up or launch one by hand," Carlile says. "In the future they will have something man-packable that a soldier can carry. They might even have the ability to have a soldier fire his own personal weapon and that weapon would have a guidance system to help him hit his target, completely from defilade or under total concealment."​



  • Optionally piloted vehicles could make any helicopter or airplane fly like a UAV.

Cargo helicopters like the Chinook could one day follow each other in flight, like baby ducks swimming after their mother.

The road map puts a premium on converting existing fleets into unmanned platforms. "Ideally we'll have three switches in the cockpit—zero for unmanned and flying autonomously, one for a single pilot in a two-pilot aircraft and two when there is a co-pilot," says Col. Chris Carlile, director of the Army's UAS Center of Excellence. Another cockpit switch could command an unmanned vehicle to follow a manned flight for aerial convoys, he says.​



  • Rotorcraft will take on the roles of airplanes.


New unmanned tilt-rotor craft, such as this Bell Boeing Quad TiltRotor model in a wind tunnel, could ferry Army cargo.

The report contains an interesting line in predicting what Air Force aviation might look like in 2030: "Improved rotorcraft will close the performance an airworthiness gap with fixed wing systems." Helicopters are slow, tough to maintain and are limited by range and altitude. But the Army sees advances in rotorcraft engines and airframes as a chance to increase their use. Tantalizingly, the report says that "hybrid configurations" could provide deliveries of troops and cargo. When they say hybrid, think of tilt-rotor craft such as the Marines' Osprey that can take off and land like helicopters but fly fast like an airplane.​

Source
 

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Indian firm produces indigenous UAVS

NEW DELHI: India has finally produced indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), with the Indian Air Force (IAF) getting its first lot recently.

The UAVs, however, have not been developed by the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which the Indian government provides billions of rupees to develop defence equipment. A technology firm in Ludhiana, Bhogal Hobby Tech, a sister concern of Bhogal Cycles Limited, has come up with the design, to be provided at Rs 0.6 million a piece. The firm is in the business of producing aero models and accessories. Experts have tested the UAVs that weigh 28 kilogrammes, have an 80 cc engine and a wingspan of 5.5 metres (18 feet). "We supplied UAVs to forces in March and we have made the defence self-reliant," says Manjeev Bhogal, managing partner of the firm and the brain behind the project.

The IAF had approached the firm to develop the UAVs, as the Israeli-made ones were too expensive and Israel was not providing spare parts for repairs, Bhogal said. He said the firm developed the vehicles on its own, "as the Indian Air Force made it clear that it will not give any monetary help for the research and development". The firm already supplies trainer aero models and target aero models to IAF and the Indian Army. It was five years ago that Bhogal was approached by the IAF for aero models and seeing his expertise, was asked to concentrate on producing UAVs.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\18\story_18-5-2010_pg7_33
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Aerovironment_To_Supply_67_Raven_UAVs_999.html

Aerovironment To Supply 67 Raven UAVs


AeroVironment, Inc. has received an order valued at $11,198,967 under an existing contract with the U.S. Army. The order comprises 63 new digital Raven small unmanned aircraft Systems (UAS), services supporting the Army's evaluation of the small UAS Family of Systems concept and additional engineering services.

This order follows two recent orders under the existing U.S. Army contract that had previously been announced by the Department of Defense. On March 30, 2010, AV received a $6,781,162 firm fixed-price order for 51 digital Raven systems, initial spares packages and contractor logistics support for the U.S. Marine Corps.

On April 12, 2010, AV received an additional $12,294,916 firm fixed-price order for 216 retrofit kits to upgrade existing analog Raven systems with AV's digital data link.

The orders were released under the existing U.S. Army joint small UAS program of record for AV's Raven. This program has included contract additions from the Army, Marine Corps, Special Operations Command and other U.S. military services.

The items and services provided under these awards on this multi-year contract are fully funded and are scheduled to be delivered within the next 12 months.

The Raven unmanned aircraft is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for "over the hill" and "around the corner" reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units.

U.S. armed forces use Raven systems extensively for missions such as base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning and force protection. Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares.

In addition to the Raven system, AV's small UAS include Puma and Wasp, which are also hand-launched and controlled by AV's hand-held ground control station. Each aircraft in AV's family of small UAS is interoperable and tailored to address a variety of operational user needs.

AV's UAS logistics operation supports systems deployed worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness. AV has delivered thousands of small unmanned aircraft to date. International purchasers of Raven systems include Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain.
 
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http://www.cisionwire.com/saab/saab-receives-order-for-unmanned-aerial-system-from-fmv

Saab receives order for Unmanned Aerial System from FMV



Defence and security company Saab has received an order worth approximately MSEK 500 from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for a Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle system (TUAV).
Saab will deliver two complete TUAV systems, including the aircraft, ground stations, intelligence units and ancillary equipment.

The order means that Saab will assume an overall commitment for the system. This includes operating the system over three years, as well as the training of personnel, the provision of equipment, technical maintenance and spare parts.

Final delivery of the systems will take place in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The type of unmanned aerial vehicle will be a Shadow 200 from the AAI Corporation.

"This order confirms the logic behind our single-minded efforts within UAV technology. By combining a well-recognised aircraft with systems and cutting edge technology developed for Gripen, we are able to offer our customer a highly adapted system without the need for a host of new development. This also means we can promise a very short delivery time, which is important for our customer since they have a tremendous need for this system. Our strong partnership with FMV provides a firm basis for together being able to satisfy the Swedish Armed Forces", says Lennart Sindahl, business area manager for Aeronautics within Saab.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers' changing needs.
 

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UAV's for mine detection ,insurgent activity monitoring ??

In the recent events after Dantewada we have seen Home Minister ordering the deployment of UAV's to check naxal activity.I have wasted a lot of time checking the effectiveness of these against insurgents.My question is
a)Effectiveness of these in heavily forested area,can they detect insurgent movement in these area
b)How can UAV's used for mine detection,identification of arsenal of explosive's or weapons.
I have gone through various sources and articles regarding these,haven't come up with any information rather than just coming across UAV's made by US and Isreal.Can someone discuss more about how they can be used for mine or explosive detection and there performance in forest area.I would really appreciate it.
 

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http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gene...4/AW_05_24_2010_p24-228387.xml&headline=India Embraces Defense Technology Road Map

India Embraces Defense Technology Road Map

May 21, 2010



By Asia-Pacific Staff
New Delhi


India is embracing medium- and long-range precision-strike weapons, short-range directed-energy air defenses and unmanned combat air vehicles as key aspirations for its future arsenal, according to a technology plan expected to be released imminently.

The need for these capabilities is spelled out in the defense ministry's ambitious Technology Perspective and Capability Road Map 2010, its first effort to provide industry with an overview of what the armed services hope to field by the middle of the next decade. The document's stated intent is to drive the "technology and development process" of prospective developers, contractors and bidders in India and abroad, and to "provide industry an overview" of ministry aims. The extent to which such desires can be adequately funded, and met by industry, national or otherwise, remains a big question.

The position paper identifies as a goal the ability to field long-range subsonic cruise missiles for precision strikes against high-value targets. The 625-mi.-range Nirbhay cruise missile is now being developed for both land and air launch.

At the other end of the precision-strike range, the road map spotlights interest in loitering munitions. New Delhi has already tapped Israeli and European guided-weapons manufacturers in this area, and in March, the Indian army formally expressed interest in a medium-range loitering missile system.

In terms of directed-energy systems, the paper calls for the ability to be able to engage "enemy unmanned aerial vehicles in the 8-10-km. [5-7.2-mi.] range, capable of being designated and controlled by appropriate detection and tracking systems." Such systems would likely be laser-based. The directed-energy requirements also include "dazzlers," low-power lasers, for special forces to disrupt optical sensors.

India's list of air power, surveillance and missile needs are also detailed in the road map, reflecting the capital commitments the Indian air force is already making in these areas. The document glosses over New Delhi's well-known requirement for fixed-wing aircraft (fighters and tactical and heavy-lift), while emphasizing the critical technologies the air force wants as part of its rotary-wing procurements.

The air force could sign deals for the acquisition of 150 helicopters in the next four years. Arguing that Indian airpower will progressively focus on air dominance and effects-based operations—until recently a vocabulary associated with the U.S. Air Force and Europe's main air forces—the document underscores the need for day/night standoff strike, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) and an increased number of force-multiplier platforms such as airborne early warning (AEW) and tanker aircraft. The air force is also in the process of developing the capabilities provided by the A-50 Phalcon AEW aircraft, along with its Ilyushin Il-78 tankers.

While India continues to look to Israel as a provider of tactical UAVs—the addition of further Searchers or Herons is likely—the state-owned Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is conducting a feasibility study of an indigenous UCAV design concept.

"UAVs with advanced sensors and weapons are going to dominate all facets of the future battlefield and hence the need to acquire the necessary UAV expertise indigenously," the road map document states. "These should be capable of carrying payloads such as weapons, [synthetic aperture radar] payloads, electro-optical devices, [and] electronic and communications intelligence."

As a complement to increasing its inventory of precision-guided weapons, the document also spells out the air force's far-reaching surveillance and target-acquisition capabilities, including long-range battlefield surveillance, remote sensor systems and the ability to track cruise missiles from airborne platforms.

Improved air defenses are identified as a near-to-medium-term requirement, including an overhaul of India's air defense ground environment. The military is looking to replace its obsolescent Soviet-era surface-to-air missile systems through programs with Israeli and European industry. The air force will look to acquire air defense weapons "from ground-based mobile platforms capable of engaging all kinds of projectiles-—rockets, mortar/ artillery, UAVs, missiles, fighter aircraft, helicopters, precision guided munitions and other stand off armament."

The emphasis on air defense reflects the findings of numerous parliamentary committees and government-led security audits that have identified shortcomings in India's air defenses.
 

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India may soon get its own UAV: HAL chairman

Bengaluru, May 23 (ANI): India is likely to come out with its indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the coming two to three years, a top official of the country's only aircraft manufacturing company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has said.

Talking to media persons on the margins of the inaugural test launch of the Light Combat Helicopter, HAL chairman Ashok Nayak disclosed that work is on for developing India's very own UAVs.

"There are some projects going on in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)," Nayak said.

"May be after two to three years, the HAL might come out with India's own UAV. We have already developed one, Lakshya, but it was on a smaller scale. Now, we are developing the Lakshya's MAK-II," he said.

Nayak added that the Lakshya's MAK-II would be used for 'air to air practice', and pointed out that it will not be used for combat or surveillance purposes.

Expressing immense pleasure at the successful test flight of the LCH, which has been developed by the HAL itself, Nayak described it as a very important achievement.

Responding to a question about the time by which the LCH is likely to be ready for induction in the armed forces, Nayak said it would take at least two years.

"It will take 500 flights, two years to get operational clearance, and all the weapon and ammunition system would be tested and after that it would be inducted in the airforce. We strongly believe it'll be inducted in the India Army also. By Shashank Shantanu (ANI)

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/05/23/indiamay-soon-get-its-own-uav-halchairman.html
 

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Indian UCAV Is A Tongue-Twister: She's Called The "IUSAP"

Revealed possibly for the first time here on LiveFist, India's proposed unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is being developed under what is called Programme AURA (Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft) and the prototype technology demonstrator being conceptualised goes by the working title Indian Unmanned Strike Aircraft (IUSA) or Indian Unmanned Strike Aircraft Programme (IUSAP).

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is currently conducting a feasibility study of two UCAV designs and expects to freeze a concept in 2011. The National Aeronautics Laboratory and the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) are also involved in the concept study of the IUSA. While the Nishant and Rustom UAVs have been publicly shown before, the Defence Ministry has asked ADA to keep the IUSAP classified and out of sight as far as possible. I've been told by sources that the first demonstrator is likely to be an all composite swept-wing model, though a lot of design elements haven't been frozen just yet.

Source


Great news!
Indian Unmanned Strike Aircraft - at least by name, it seems fully dedicated strike unmanned option.... Best luck to ADE & NAL...
 
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cross posted

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/US...ssile_999.html

US Air Force tests hypersonic UAV


The US Air Force on Wednesday test launched a hypersonic cruise missile, with the vehicle accelerating to Mach 6 before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, officials said.

The Air Force said the test flight of the X-15A Waverider lasted more than 200 seconds, the longest ever hypersonic flight powered by scramjet propulsion. The previous record was 12 seconds in a NASA X-43 vehicle.

"We are ecstatic to have accomplished most of our test points on the X-51A's very first hypersonic mission," Charlie Brink, program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

"We equate this leap in engine technology as equivalent to the post-World War Two jump from propeller-driven aircraft to jet engines," he said.

But about 200 seconds into the flight, "a vehicle anomaly occurred and the flight was terminated," the Air Force said in a statement.

"Engineers are busily examining the data to identify the cause of the problem," it said.

The Waverider was launched from Edwards Air Force Base in California, then carried under the wing of a B-52 aircraft before being released at an altitude of 50,000 feet off the Pacific coast.

A solid rocket booster then propelled the vehicle to about a speed of about Mach 4.8, before the X-51's special scramjet engine ignited.

The Waverider, built by Boeing and Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, reached an altitude of 70,000 feet and a top speed of Mach 6, the Air Force said.

Hypersonic flight begins at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

The X-51 fits in with US plans to hit distant targets with conventional weapons within an hour, dubbed "prompt global strike."

The Waverider, or an experimental hypersonic plane also under development, could substitute for a ballistic missile armed with a conventional warhead, as other countries might suspect the missile represented a nuclear attack.
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/B...ght_Of_ScanEagle_Compressed_Carriage_999.html

Boeing Conducts Test Flight Of ScanEagle Compressed Carriage

Boeing successfully flew its ScanEagle Compressed Carriage (SECC) unmanned airborne system (UAS) at a testing
facility in eastern Oregon on May 12. The 75-minute flight evaluated the aircraft's airworthiness and flight characteristics in a simulated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission.

The SECC - powered by a six-horsepower, heavy-fuel engine - was launched from a ground vehicle, flew an autonomous flight plan at various altitudes and provided streaming video from its electro-optical/infrared sensor package to a nearby ground station.

The SECC was recovered using the same runway-independent SkyHook recovery system used by the ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned airborne systems. The SECC system will complete additional tests in the coming months.

"This is a big step toward adding another aircraft with additional capabilities to Boeing's UAS stable," said Ron Perkins, director of Boeing Phantom Works' Advanced Unmanned Airborne Systems.

"The vehicle's 132-inch wingspan and folding aero surfaces allow it to be carried on an aircraft pylon or in a container, giving the warfighter the choice of operating it from air, underwater, ground or surface platforms."

The SECC is a long-endurance, autonomous UAS designed to provide ISR, targeting, and battle-damage assessment.
 

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Boeing Receives 1st F-16 for Conversion into QF-16 Aerial Drone

The first retired F-16 Falcon arrived at Boeing's [NYSE: BA] Cecil Field facility in Jacksonville on April 22 to begin conversion into a QF-16 aerial drone. Boeing received a $69.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force on March 8 for the first phase of the QF-16 program.
The Boeing-led team, which includes BAE Systems, will begin engineering, manufacturing and development of the full-scale manned and unmanned QF-16s during Phase 1. The drones will be used as aerial targets for newly developed weapons and tactics. They will be a higher-performing aircraft than the QF-4s they will replace.
The team will receive six F-16s during the program's development phase. After modification to the QF-16 configuration, they will serve as prototypes for engineering tests and evaluation prior to low-rate initial production. Up to 126 QF-16 drones will be converted beginning in 2014.

http://idrw.org/?p=1821
 
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http://lenta.ru/news/2010/05/26/uav/

Google translated

Russian paratroopers will learn how to manage Israeli drones


Defense Ministry and the FSB in their appraisals of Russian drones

Twelve payments of airborne troops of Russia in summer 2010 will be trained in management of unmanned aircraft, bought from Israel. This, as reported by Interfax, said the commander of airborne troops, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Shamanov. Marines will be trained at the Center for unmanned aerial vehicles in the Moscow region.

Shamans also noted that the purchase of Israeli drones "useful for the spirit of competition." At the same time the commander of the VDV added that during the last exercise, several Russian drones have received high ratings. In particular, Shamans allocated UAV "Aileron" by which was additional exploration targets at ranges of up to ten kilometers, and its fire destruction. According to the commander, "Aileron" - "an advanced product, especially in terms of objectivity, reliability provided target coordinates.

In addition, shamans announced that during the exercises themselves have proven drones manufactured by Vega and Irkut.

Earlier it was reported that by mid-summer 2010 Russian Defense Ministry intends to finalize the operators drones purchased from Israel. Then plans to create a special center for the use of such devices, as well as to develop the requirements for UAVs, which will buy the military department. "If our defense industry will be able to produce such UAVs, then - please, we are ready to buy", - said Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

In early April 2010, Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia Vladimir Popovkin announced that the War Department has spent on the development and testing drones five billion rubles, without achieving any acceptable results. Earlier, the Russian Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin said the Russian drones are no plans to take to arms because they do not satisfy the requirements of the military on any of the items.

At present, Russia is considered the possibility of establishing joint venture with Israeli company for the production of unmanned aerial vehicles. According to general director of state corporation Russian Technologies Chemezov, production will be established jointly with the state company Israel Aerospace Industries. The final decision on the establishment of the enterprise will be taken after completion of testing of the Israeli UAV.

In June 2009 the Russian Defense Ministry has bought 12 Israeli drones worth 53 million dollars. In Russia the number of delivered units include Bird-Eye 400, I-View MK150 and Searcher Mk II. Later, talks about buying the party UAV in the amount of one hundred million dollars. In late April 2010 Chemezov announced the purchase of Israel's 15 more drones, which should take part in the trials. About what exactly apparatus in question is still unknown.
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Navy_Laser_Destroys_UAV_In_A_Maritime_Environment_999.html

Navy Laser Destroys UAV In A Maritime Environment

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), with support from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren, for the second time successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed a threat representative Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) while in flight May 24 at San Nicholas Island, Calif.
This marks the first detect-thru-engage laser shoot-down of a threat representative target in an over-the-water, combat representative scenario.

A total of two UAV targets were engaged and destroyed in a maritime environment during the testing, the second series of successes for the U.S. Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS) Program.

Members of NAVSEA's Directed Energy and Electric Weapon Systems (DE and EWS) Program Office (PMS 405), Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), Raytheon Missile Systems, and NSWC Dahlgren fired a laser through a beam director on a KINETO Tracking Mount, controlled by a MK 15 Close In Weapon System (CIWS).

This brings to a total of seven UAVs destroyed by the Surface Navy's first tactical development for fielding a Directed Energy weapon system.

"The success of this effort validates the military utility of DE and EWS in a maritime environment," said Program Manager Capt. David Kiel. "Further development and integration of increasingly more powerful lasers into Surface Navy LaWS will increase both the engagement range and target sets that can be successfully engaged and destroyed."

NAVSEA's DE and EWS Program Office is responsible for managing the research, development, integration, and acquisition initiation of DE and EWS for the Navy's surface forces.

PEO IWS 3BC is the Program Office responsible for all aspects of the CIWS Program with Raytheon serving as the Navy's prime contractor for CIWS. NSWC Dahlgren, as the LaWS Technical Direction Agent, focuses on the technology development and test and evaluation for directed energy.

DE and EWS is transitioning technology from the laboratory to prototype system development/test for operational development and use. One of the multiple 'game changing' technologies under development includes laser weapons that provide for speed-of-light engagements at tactically significant ranges with cost savings realized by minimizing the use of defensive missiles and projectiles.
 

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