UAVs and UCAVs

Patriot

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Decision Time for Cargo UAVs


The AirMule prototype has performed 40 test hovers and accumulated 10 hours of flight time.
More recently the aircraft has been undergoing a systems upgrade including the development
and installation of wheeled landing gear that will facilitate ground mobility while also enabling
STOVL (Short Takeoff Vertical Landing) operations which have the potential to nearly double
the aircraft's payload capacity. Urban Aeronautics plans to resume flight tests of its AirMule
prototype before the end of the year. Photo: Urban Aeronautics


The U.S. Navy is expecting proposals from industry for groundbreaking operational support services, employing unmanned helicopters as 'Cargo-Unmanned Aerial Systems – C-UAS) in Afghanistan. Two companies are expected to compete for this service – Lockheed Martin-Kaman and Boeing. Boeing positions it's A160T Hummingbird rotary wing UAV as an unmanned cargo lifting platform. The A160T is likely to face a larger and tough competitor, the 'Unmanned K-MAX' from Lockheed Martin and Kaman. For the long term, dedicated platforms are being developed for such roles, as well as a new category of 'transformers' flying cars, developed under a new initiative embarked by DARPA. Following are some of the highlights of these new programs.

Far Sighted Designs



Urban Aeronautics is developing an unmanned vehicle powered by internal lift fans,
the prototype has been flying since 2009 and will soon demonstrate hovering and
flying at low altitude, controlled by the autonomous flight control and navigation system.
Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense Update


A dedicated cargo UAV is currently in development in Israel – the AirMule, an aerial vehicle designed specifically for multi-role tactical utility missions. The AirMule is equipped with internal lift rotors and has a small footprint, qualities that make it particularly suitable for vertical mobility in urban environments. The AirMule has an empty weight of 1400 lbs (640 kg) and maximum load of up to 1900 lbs (860kg). The AirMule carries fuel to support up to 8 flight hours or 600 nm (1080 km). The aircraft has multiple-mission capabilities with the current emphasis being on unmanned casualty evacuation and cargo resupply. It is measured for internal carriage inside CH-53 type helicopters, enabling rapid and efficient global deployment. The AirMule is being evaluated by the Israeli Medical Corps and Israel MOD for potential use as an unmanned airborne casualty evacuation (CasEvac) system.

So far the AirMule prototype has performed 40 test hovers and accumulated 10 hours of flight time. More recently the aircraft has been undergoing a systems upgrade including the development and installation of wheeled landing gear that will facilitate ground mobility while also enabling STOVL (Short Takeoff Vertical Landing) operations which have the potential to nearly double the aircraft's payload capacity. Urban Aeronautics plans to resume flight tests of its AirMule prototype before the end of the year.

The U.S. Army is also looking into an unmanned aerial platform to operate as 'combat medic unmanned aircraft system' (CM-UAS), an aerial vehicle that will be able to respond to calls for evacuation or urgent resupply, by automatically navigating to the requested location, where it liaises with the party calling for the support to get landing instructions. As it touches down, the medics unload the medical supplies, load the casualties, flying back to the forward medical treatment point without putting a manned aircrew at risk.


Larger configurations of the patented Panther tilt-rotor design,
developed by IAI are prepared to carry two persons and equivalent
payload. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense Update


Another new Israeli design is the IAI Panther family of tilt-rotor UAVs. Two versions of the Panther are already flying, the larger 65kg vehicle is proposed for the Israel defense Forces 'brigade UAV' program currently underway. Yet IAI has high hopes for the patented three-prop design, scaling up the current version to a helicopter size vehicle capable of carrying two passengers or an equivalent weight in cargo. The current vehicle is powered by electrical motors but the heavier versions could employ more efficient internal combustion engines. An interesting feature of the Panther is its flexible takeoff and landing configurations – for example, it can takeoff on a short runway with semi-tilted props and, after consuming part of the fuel, land vertically at its destination.


Transformer like vehicles could be employed as land vehicles, or transform into a flying vehicle on demand.
This concept was submitted for DARPA by AAI. Image: Textron / AAI


DARPA is working on a concept flying vehicle that could replace today's tactical utility vehicles – at least in part of their missions. According to Program Manager Mr. Stephen Waller, the TX vehicle is intended to make roads irrelevant for military small unit maneuvers. Units will be able to use TX air vehicles to fly over obstacles or impassible terrain, avoiding ambushes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Personal TX vehicles could be dispatched for downed airman recovery or for evacuating injured personnel from difficult to access locations, or to resupply isolated small units.

The Transformers are still in their infancy. At the current stage the goal of the program is to define the major components and overall design of a TX vehicle that would be suitable for military scouting, personnel transport, and logistics missions. Under the program DARPA is planning to explore a hybrid electric drive ducted fan propulsion system, lightweight ring motors, and energy storage methods such as batteries and ultra capacitors. Other fields for innovation include morphing vehicle bodies, and advanced flight controls and flight management systems.


Lockheed Martin proposed a Transformer concept vehicle blending design features
from the Joint Tactical Light Vehicle (JLTV) and tilted ducted fan propulsion for hovering and flight.
Image: DARPA


DARPA wants to assess these technologies as part of a true TX vehicle. In September 2010 AAI was awarded a first $3 million contract by DARPA, to design a 'flying jeep' under the 'Transformer' (TX) program, seeking to develop a vehicle that will be able to travel on road and transform on demand into a vertical take off and landing flying machine. Such vehicle should be able to travel 250nm (463km) on land, carrying four passengers. The second system integrator selected by DARPA for the program is Lockheed Martin. Their concept was reportedly based on its Phantom Works project that combines aspects its Joint Tactical Light Vehicle, mated with with a ducted fan propulsion system for flying. Lockheed Martin is also associated with Gibbs, on the development of hybrid marine-land vehicles that could also be combined for the program.

The first phase will involve trade studies at different configurations, among various rotor-powered options under study are the SR/C concept and autogiros. DARPA is planning to spend obout $54 million over the five year program.







http://defense-update.com/wp/20101013_cargo-uavs.html
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Maiden_flight_for_Indian_military_drone_official_999.html

Maiden flight for Indian military drone

India said Sunday it had completed a maiden test flight of an indigenously-built unmanned drone developed as part of the country's efforts to reduce military imports.

"The aircraft was flown in a manner exactly as planned, up to a height of 3,000 feet (900 metres), remained airborne for 30 minutes and completed all mission requirements," Defence Research and Development Organisation spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta said of Saturday's flight.

The drone, named Rustom, has a maximum flight time of 15 hours and is a prototype that the military intends to develop into more advanced models, officials said.

Israel, which in 2005 signed a 220-million dollar deal to sell 50 unmanned spy planes to India, remains one of the country's largest suppliers of drones.

India has accelerated military procurement, including the purchase of drones, since the 2008 attacks in Mumbai by Islamist gunmen which left 166 people dead and more than 300 injured.

The United States regularly uses drones based in Afghanistan to attack Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Pakistan's northwestern tribal area.
 

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U.S. Navy Conducts COBRA System Flight Test from Fire Scout UAV

The Navy successfully conducted the first flight test of the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) Block I system at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., October 13, testing the system's performance on the Fire Scout vertical take-off unmanned aerial vehicle.

The AN/DVS-1 COBRA system allows the MQ-8B Fire Scout to conduct unmanned aerial reconnaissance in littoral areas, detecting minefields and obstacles to prepare for amphibious assaults. Incrementally development, the Block I upgrade was designed to specifically address the beach zone and inland areas.


An MQ-8A Fire Scout prepares to land aboard USS Nashville.
AN/DVS-1 COBRA System to Provide Littoral Areas Reconnaissance

"COBRA will provide valuable minefield, obstacle, and bathymetry information to the warfighter and amphibious task groups, information which is critical to amphibious assault planning," said Capt. John Hardison, deputy program manager for Mine Warfare Programs. "Successful completion of these tests is a significant leap forward in delivering this capability."

The Fire Scout, equipped with COBRA, conducted integration testing and flew for approximately 2 1/2 hours. Several successful tracks were completed in both pre-planned and operator-controlled modes and the systems conducted simulated missions. Take-off and landing went without incident, and the system completed all test scenarios.

With the successful completion of the first COBRA flight on Fire Scout, the system moves closer to delivery and deployment. The COBRA Block I system will enter low-rate initial production under a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III contract. Under this contract, the first production unit is scheduled for delivery to the fleet in fiscal year 2012.

An affiliated program executive office of the Naval Sea Systems Command, PEO LMW designs, delivers and maintains systems, equipment and weapons needed by the warfighter to dominate the littoral battle space, and provides assured access to the warfighter.







http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/678/
 

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AeroVironment Global Observer Stratospheric UAV Completes Initial Testing

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 26, 2010
AeroVironment reports that the first aircraft developed under the Global Observer Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program has successfully completed initial flight testing consisting of multiple low-altitude flights at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California.

This initial flight test phase of the demonstration program employed batteries to power the hybrid-electric aircraft and to approximate full aircraft weight and center of gravity for flight control, performance and responsiveness evaluation.

The program team has installed and is currently ground testing the aircraft's innovative, hydrogen-fueled generator and liquid hydrogen fuel tanks which will power it through stratospheric, extreme endurance flights during the joint operational utility assessment phase of the program.

"These successful flights validated Global Observer's airworthiness, and represent critical milestones as the team proceeds toward demonstrating stratospheric, extreme endurance operations," said Tim Conver, AV's president and chief executive officer.

"The liquid-hydrogen fueled flight test series will be historic for AV and the JCTD team as Global Observer moves closer to demonstrating mission-readiness and supporting our troops whenever and wherever needed."


Two Global Observer aircraft, each flying for up to a week at a time, will alternate coverage over any area on the earth, providing a seamless, persistent platform for high value missions such as communications relay, remote sensing, long-term surveillance and border patrol.


The initial test flights took place during the months of August and September and have succeeded in achieving the primary objectives of the low altitude flight test program. The primary objectives for initial flight testing were to test guidance, manual and autonomous controls, navigation, structural performance, thrust levels and handling in various winds and turbulence conditions.

AV also has successfully operated Global Observer's hydrogen-fueled generator for more than 1,500 hours in a specialized environmental chamber, including an uninterrupted 7-day mission cycle.

The chamber subjects the generator to the range of temperatures, pressures and air densities that the aircraft will experience during the climb, loiter and descent stages of high altitude missions. Successful wing load tests performed in August validated the Global Observer wing at its load limit.

AV is developing the Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to be the first to provide robust, cost-effective and persistent communications and surveillance over any location. Six U.S. government agencies have provided funding for the JCTD program.

Global Observer is designed to address an urgent national security need for a persistent stratospheric platform and to offer a means to satisfy numerous high value civil and commercial applications.

The system is intended to provide mission capabilities that include robust observation over areas with little or no existing coverage, persistent communications relay, the ability to relocate the system as required by theater commanders, dedicated communications support to other UAS and tactical on-station weather monitoring and data support.

Because of its extreme endurance the Global Observer system can be based out-of-theater, reducing costs, supply chain requirements and potential risk to operational personnel.

With 20 years of experience developing stratospheric, long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), AV is developing Global Observer to operate as a "stratospheric geosynchronous satellite system" with regional coverage and minimal signal delay.

Two Global Observer aircraft, each flying for up to a week at a time, will alternate coverage over any area on the earth, providing a seamless, persistent platform for high value missions such as communications relay, remote sensing, long-term surveillance and border patrol.

Offering greater flexibility than a satellite and significantly longer duration than conventional manned and unmanned aircraft, Global Observer is designed to provide critical new capabilities in a reliable and more affordable manner, all while consuming no fossil fuels and emitting no carbon emissions.

Each aircraft in a Global Observer system is designed to fly at an altitude of between 55,000 and 65,000 feet for 5 to 7 days. In addition to flying above weather and above other conventional airplanes, operation in this altitude range means that sensor payloads on the aircraft will be able to view a circular area on the surface of the earth up to 600 miles in diameter, equivalent to more than 280,000 square miles of coverage.

Equipped with payloads that are readily available today, two Global Observer aircraft would alternate coverage over any location on the globe, making this the first solution to provide customers with practical, seamless coverage, wherever and whenever required.






http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/AeroVironment_Global_Observer_Stratospheric_Unmanned_Aircraft_System_Completes_Initial_Flight_Testing_999.html
 
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Parthy

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India's Combat Drones induction are decade away.. Just now they've tested the prototype of Rustom.. For completing the testing for the prototype itself takes more time... And delays are well known and usual one... :emot0:
Code:
 

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U.S. Army UAV Use Evolving, Getting Sophisticated

By Graham Warwick [email protected]
WASHINGTON


The U.S. Army's use of unmanned aircraft is getting increasingly sophisticated, with deployment of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, development of bidirectional payload datalinks and ground-based sense-and-avoid systems, as well as demonstrations of large-scale manned/unmanned teaming and damage-tolerant flight controls.

Col. Gregory Gonzalez, the Army's program manager for unmanned aircraft systems, told reporters Oct. 25 that the second four-aircraft Gray Eagle quick-reaction capability (QRC) system was deployed to Afghanistan in September and is now being set up. He and other officials briefed reporters ahead the Association of the U.S. Army's fall conference in Washington.

Compared with the first QRC system deployed to Iraq in 2009, the second has Hellfire missile capability, a beyond-line-of-sight satellite communications link and upgraded software. The Gray Eagles will be used to support Army special operations forces in Afghanistan, he says.

Even as the Army deploys the large Predator-family Gray Eagle, Gonzalez says the fight in southern Afghanistan is shifting demand from the RQ-7 Shadow tactical UAV to the smaller Raven and Puma AE unmanned systems. These are being used by soldiers, squads and platoons "that are out there on their own, controlling a lot of area," he says.

The next big step is the "approved and funded" fielding of a bidirectional datalink for the Army's One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT), which is widely used by ground forces to receive video from UAVs. The bidirectional link will allow a soldier to take control of the UAV's payload, says Tim Owings, deputy program manager for UAVs.

Under the QRC, the Army is equipping a Gray Eagle with three sensor balls — a concept called Triclops (for Triple Common Sensor Payload Line-of-sight Operations). The bidirectional OSRVT will allow one of the sensor balls to be controlled by a soldier on the ground, one by the crew of an Apache helicopter and one by the UAV operator.

The Army also plans the largest demonstration yet of manned/unmanned teaming, involving the Gray Eagle, Hunter, Shadow, Raven and gMAV along with the Apache Block III and potentially Kiowa Warrior helo. The Manned/Unmanned System Integration Concept (Music) demo will use the Army's Universal Ground Control Station and bidrectional OSRVT.

Music will demonstrate "sensor fusion on the glass," enabling the operator to see data from several platforms. In addition to video-based sensor fusion, the system will enable the operator to display ground moving-target indication and synthetic-aperture radar data and signals-intelligence information, Owings says.

Looking further ahead, the Army and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have just completed flight-tests of Rockwell Collins' damage-tolerant flight controls, stalling the engine and blowing 20 in. off a wing then having the UAV land itself safely each time. "It's a tremendous capability for saving aircraft and money," Gonzalez says.

Eventually, fault-tolerant avionics could allow greater access for unmanned military aircraft in national airspace. Near term, the Army is the first operator to gain FAA approval for a ground-based sense-and-avoid system. The radar system at El Mirage in California, where the Army trains on Gray Eagles, will allow the UAVs to fly at night between the airfield and nearby restricted airspace.

Approval was granted in August, but the Army is still working to meet the FAA's strict data requirements and has not begun using the system yet, says Viva Austin, UAS airspace integration product director.






http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?topicName=Unmanned&id=news/awx/2010/10/25/awx_10_25_2010_p0-264972.xml&headline=U.S.%20Army%20UAV%20Use%20Evolving,%20Getting%20Sophisticated%20&channel=&from=topicalreports
 

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Global Observer UAS Completes Initial Flight Testing

WASHINGTON, at AUSA: AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) today announced that the first aircraft developed under the Global Observer Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program has successfully completed initial flight testing consisting of multiple low-altitude flights at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California.

This initial flight test phase of the demonstration program employed batteries to power the hybrid-electric aircraft and to approximate full aircraft weight and center of gravity for flight control, performance and responsiveness evaluation.

The program team has installed and is currently ground testing the aircraft's innovative, hydrogen-fueled generator and liquid hydrogen fuel tanks which will power it through stratospheric, extreme endurance flights during the joint operational utility assessment phase of the program.

"These successful flights validated Global Observer's airworthiness, and represent critical milestones as the team proceeds toward demonstrating stratospheric, extreme endurance operations," said Tim Conver, AV's president and chief executive officer. "The liquid-hydrogen fueled flight test series will be historic for AV and the JCTD team as Global Observer moves closer to demonstrating mission-readiness and supporting our troops whenever and wherever needed."

The initial test flights took place during the months of August and September and have succeeded in achieving the primary objectives of the low altitude flight test program. The primary objectives for initial flight testing were to test guidance, manual and autonomous controls, navigation, structural performance, thrust levels and handling in various winds and turbulence conditions.



AV also has successfully operated Global Observer's hydrogen-fueled generator for more than 1,500 hours in a specialized environmental chamber, including an uninterrupted 7-day mission cycle. The chamber subjects the generator to the range of temperatures, pressures and air densities that the aircraft will experience during the climb, loiter and descent stages of high altitude missions. Successful wing load tests performed in August validated the Global Observer wing at its load limit.

AV is developing the Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to be the first to provide robust, cost-effective and persistent communications and surveillance over any location. Six U.S. government agencies have provided funding for the JCTD program.

Global Observer is designed to address an urgent national security need for a persistent stratospheric platform and to offer a means to satisfy numerous high value civil and commercial applications. The system is intended to provide mission capabilities that include robust observation over areas with little or no existing coverage, persistent communications relay, the ability to relocate the system as required by theater commanders, dedicated communications support to other UAS and tactical on-station weather monitoring and data support. Because of its extreme endurance the Global Observer system can be based out-of-theater, reducing costs, supply chain requirements and potential risk to operational personnel.

With 20 years of experience developing stratospheric, long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), AV is developing Global Observer to operate as a "stratospheric geosynchronous satellite system" with regional coverage and minimal signal delay.

Two Global Observer aircraft, each flying for up to a week at a time, will alternate coverage over any area on the earth, providing a seamless, persistent platform for high value missions such as communications relay, remote sensing, long-term surveillance and border patrol. Offering greater flexibility than a satellite and significantly longer duration than conventional manned and unmanned aircraft, Global Observer is designed to provide critical new capabilities in a reliable and more affordable manner, all while consuming no fossil fuels and emitting no carbon emissions.

Each aircraft in a Global Observer system is designed to fly at an altitude of between 55,000 and 65,000 feet for 5 to 7 days. In addition to flying above weather and above other conventional airplanes, operation in this altitude range means that sensor payloads on the aircraft will be able to view a circular area on the surface of the earth up to 600 miles in diameter, equivalent to more than 280,000 square miles of coverage.

Equipped with payloads that are readily available today, two Global Observer aircraft would alternate coverage over any location on the globe, making this the first solution to provide customers with practical, seamless coverage, wherever and whenever required.

AV is a technology company that designs, develops, produces and supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and efficient electric energy systems. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company's battery-powered, hand-launched UAS to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.





http://www.defencetalk.com/global-observer-uas-completes-initial-flight-testing-29730/
 

hitenray09

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what is with india, all major indian products are always on drawing board and at last the result is uncountable delay in delivery
 

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aura is not even on drawing board.it is just a proposal,not sure the mod has sanctioned it.it is like mca which is in proposal state since 1998, and the project has still not formally started.
 

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Raytheon Tests New Weapon Designed for Unmanned Aircraft Systems


Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) successfully flight tested Small Tactical Munition, a new weapon specifically designed to be employed from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). STM is a 13-pound guided bomb that is approximately 2-feet long, making it the smallest bomb in the Raytheon family of weapons.

The bomb's dual-mode, semiactive laser seeker and GPS-inertial navigation system enable the weapon to engage both fixed and moving targets around-the-clock, regardless of weather conditions.

"Current combat operations have highlighted the need for extremely small, precise weapons that are optimally designed for remotely piloted aircraft," said Bob Francois, Raytheon vice president of Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems. "STM is part of a portfolio of weapons that meets the warfighter's need in this area."

Raytheon flight tested two STM weapons on two separate passes from a Cobraâ„¢ UAS. The GPS-INS guided the weapons to a mid-course position where the semiactive laser seeker precisely guided the weapon to the target, achieving all test objectives.

"Raytheon has been the world leader in weapons and aircraft weaponization for 60 years; developing a unique weapon for today's unmanned aircraft combat operations is a natural fit," added Francois.

Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide


http://dailyairforce.com/388/Raytheon-Tests-New-Weapon-Designed-for-Unmanned-Aircraft-Systems.html
 

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ATK miniature guided weapon ...
Only 6 lbs and has laser and GPS guidance. Designed for the Army's Shadow UAV.



ATK is developing a lightweight precision guided munition, compact and light enough to be carried by the dozens or even hundreds by unmanned aerial aircraft. The new glide weapon is packed into a conformal container launcher carried under the wing of the Shadow, fitted on top of the strut root. Upon release the weapon's fins are extracted and three airfoils pop into place, as the weapon glides on its path to the ground. As the three laser detectors are activated, they seek laser signals reflected from the designated target. Once the laser spot is detected, the weapon's flight control processor computes the necessary corrections and activates the tail fins to point the weapon on the course homing in on the spot, hitting the target with high precision.

The weapon weighs about six pounds (2.7 kg). Its hand-grenade size warhead makes more than half that weight (about four pounds or 1.8 kg). The resulting effect offers maximum lethality against exposed targets, with minimal collateral damage to their surrounding.

Persistence and immediate response close air support based on such weapons has the potential to transform combined air/ground operations, as UAVs loitering above a ground combat element could continuously support ground forces through sustained combat engagements, without the logistical and operational burden when rotating through rearmament or replenishment cycles. Brigades could rely on their own Small UAVs assets like the Shadow, each carrying four weapons in addition to the standard ISR and radio relay payloads. Larger drones will employ multiple ejector racks packing 12 weapons or more, each loaded rack could be carried under a pylon currently carrying Hellfire missiles. Therefore, an MQ-1A Predator currently carrying two Hellfires will carry 24 of the new weapons. A similar load will be carried by the MQ-5B Hunter, while the MQ-1C Grey Eagle will be able to carry twice that load. The Air Forces' MQ-9 Reaper will be able to carry 72 units and the A-160 destined for the Special Operations Command will haul over 200 such weapons.

The miniature guided weapon currently under development could, potentially, replace current cluster weapons banned by international treaties. When employed in weapon systems, individually targeted guided weapons could be directed to scatter over the area to focus on specific target location, guided by GPS – or disperse over a specific area in a pattern maximizing the desired effect. Optional carriers such as new cruise missiles, or loitering weapons, will be able to employ such guided submunitions to attack multiple targets along their flight path, on a single mission.
http://defense-update.com/wp/20101029_atk_mgw.html
 

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http://livefist.blogspot.com/2010/11/indian-stealth-ucav-design-phase.html
Indian Stealth UCAV Design Phase Officially ON

The official list of government laboratories and academic institutions involved in the AURA now include GTRE Bangalore for the engines, DEAL Dehradun for datalinks and advanced electronics, DARE for avionics and electronic warfare equipment, LRDE and HAL for sensors, NAL/DMRL for materials and IIT-Kanpur for critical subsystems.
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/US_Army_Plans_Large_Manned_Unmanned_Demo_999.html

US Army Plans Large Manned-Unmanned Demo

The U.S. Army is planning a largest-of-its-kind demonstration - called Manned Unmanned Systems Integration Concept, or MUSIC - at Dougway Proving Ground, Utah, in September of next year, service officials said.

"It's going to be the largest single demonstration of interoperability between manned and unmanned systems ever conducted," said Tim Owings, deputy project manager for Army unmanned aircraft systems.

The demonstration is aimed at analyzing the progress of evolving manned-unmanned teaming technologies.

It will showcase level-4 UAS interoperability wherein Apache Attack helicopter pilots will have the ability to control the payload of a nearby UAS from the cockpit; the Apache pilots will also be able to view feeds from UAS systems in real-time from the cockpit as well.

During the exercise, the Grey Eagle, Hunter, Shadow, Raven and the Apache Block III will all be exchanging information and exchanging command and control while in flight, Owings said.

"The Block III Apache is going to take control of the UAS, point the payload and do a mission. All the other systems will see Apache video and Kiowa video. We will have a Universal Ground Control Station on the ground as well," said Owings.
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/LM_TRACER_Begins_Test_Flights_Aboard_Predator_B_MQ9_UAS_999.html

LM TRACER Begins Test Flights Aboard Predator B MQ-9 UAS

A milestone has been achieved, the first flight of Lockheed Martin's Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-Concealment-Enabled Radar (TRACER) aboard an MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial System.

The milestone also marks the first time a penetrating radar has flown on a fixed wing unmanned aerial system. TRACER, a dual-band synthetic-aperture radar (SAR), detects vehicles, buildings and other man-made objects that are buried, camouflaged or concealed under foliage in real-time. TRACER will continue flight testing and system validation in multiple environments.

TRACER's design is predicated on Lockheed Martin's proven foliage penetration (FOPEN) technology, which incorporates dual-band synthetic aperture radar, and provides high resolution images to ground units in all-weather, day or night conditions, as well as operating in various collection modes. TRACER has already successfully completed approximately one hundred test flights on manned platforms.

"This demonstrates the maturity of penetrating SAR and that TRACER is clearly deployment ready," said Jim Quinn, vice president with Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions-Defense.

"When deployed, this "hunting" sensor can use the penetrating RADAR capability to provide ground commanders with intelligence not available from a traditional optical sensor."

The purpose of these test flights is to demonstrate the ability to operate the radar remotely utilizing a high endurance platform. The TRACER configuration aboard the MQ-9 also utilizes an external unpressurized pod to house the RF portion of the system. The tests aboard a NASA-operated Predator B (Ikhana) unmanned aircraft is underway.

During the flight testing, the system will collect high resolution SAR imagery. The Ikhana performed as a surrogate for the Army's "Gray Eagle" (MQ-1) unmanned aerial system, which was not available because of current mission critical needs.

The flight tests on the Ikhana focused on the radar's performance in the harsh environment of the unpressurized pod, and are intended to mitigate risk for eventual installation on the Army UAS.

TRACER is unique in that it will provide the Army with tactical penetrating radar that is deployable on both manned and unmanned platforms in a variety of environments.

The dual band capability of TRACER increases target detection over a variety of terrain and concealment scenarios. TRACER also incorporates data link technology that allows airborne processed results to be down-linked to ground stations immediately. The system includes a portable ground station to plan, collect, support missions, and exploit imagery.
 

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USAF seeks more sophisticated drones


The military aims to develop more sophisticated, high-tech drones and surveillance aircraft that can collect intelligence in increasingly dangerous combat airspace, a senior Air Force leader said Thursday.

Under pressure from Pentagon leaders, the Air Force has already dramatically increased the number of armed and unarmed drones over Afghanistan and Iraq. But there are growing worries that the U.S. needs aircraft able to gather information and wage electronic attacks in airspace that is more contested, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Philip Breedlove, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements.

The Pentagon is keenly aware that the next war could be against an enemy with a well-equipped Air Force and sophisticated military instead of terrorists armed with guns and roadside bombs.

Persistent and growing terrorist activities in far-flung locations from East Africa to Yemen also require the U.S. to do more intelligence gathering across a broader geographic spectrum.

Breedlove declined to detail what the Air Force is considering, but said that it may require new or upgraded aircraft that are stealthier and less visible to radar.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has pressed the Air Force to boost the number of drones over Afghanistan and Iraq to improve intelligence and surveillance for U.S. ground troops. In response, the Air Force has gone from a handful of drones operating 24 hours a day in early 2007 to 45 as of Tuesday.

Breedlove said that by January, the Air Force's drones will have logged 1 million hours of combat air patrols over war zones. The goal is to have 50 of the 24-hour air patrols operating by the end of September, and 65 by September 2013.

The increase has strapped the Air Force, as it continues to look for ways to fund and staff the increase.

"The number one manning problem in our Air Force is manning our unmanned platforms," Breedlove told defense reporters at a breakfast Thursday. He said it takes between 180 and 200 people to fly and maintain one 24-hour drone patrol, staff its launch and recovery, and interpret and distribute the intelligence it gathers.

One effort to meet the growing workload includes the deployment of a new sensor technology that would allow drones to watch a broader area, and collect and dispense information from several locations at one time.

The Gorgon Stare sensor is undergoing final testing at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., and is expected arrive in the war zone in December.


http://dailyairforce.com/410/USAF-seeks-more-sophisticated-drones.html
 
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RAM

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The preliminary design phase of India's stealth UCAV, AURA, is officially underway. Top sources familiar with the programme reveal that the AURA team is currently working on overall conceptual design of flying-wing UCAV, a gas-turbine performance model for the proposed platform, intake design propulsion dynamics, 2D nozzle design and thrust vector control.

As you might expect, the AURA team has been consuming as much information as it possible can about existing stealth UCAVs in development globally now, including the European Neuron, the British Taranis, the Russian Skat and the American X-47A. The classified Indian programme will work to freeze broad design parameters by the middle of next year. The official list of government laboratories and academic institutions involved in the AURA now include GTRE Bangalore for the engines, DEAL Dehradun for datalinks and advanced electronics, DARE for avionics and electronic warfare equipment, LRDE and HAL for sensors, NAL/DMRL for materials and IIT-Kanpur for critical subsystems.
http://livefist.blogspot.com/
 

Agantrope

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As nitesh said in the Kaveri engine thread, Might the K-9 Core be used in this UCAV? My 2 paisa? what about others view?
 
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http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Nor...ram_Completes_Three_Major_Milestones_999.html

Northrop Grumman's LEMV Program Completes Three Major Milestones



In just four months since signing a $517 million agreement with the United States Army to build three airships with 21-day persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, Northrop Grumman's Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) program team has completed three important program milestones.

The team is headed toward its fourth, the Critical Design Review (CDR), by the end of first quarter FY11.

"In less than four months time, we have completed our System Readiness Review (SRR), Initial Baseline Review (IBR) and our Preliminary Design Review (PDR) which looks at the hybrid air vehicle design, ground station infrastructure
, and ground and airborne system software," said Alan Metzger, Northrop Grumman vice president and integrated program team leader of LEMV and airship programs.

The June 14, 2010, agreement provides for the design, development and testing of the first long endurance airship within an 18-month time period. "We have made great progress to date and have a great partnership with the Army. As we move forward, we look to inflate our first vehicle next spring, and our first flight is scheduled for mid-next summer," Metzger said.

"Upon completion of the development ground and flight testing phase, we expect to transition to a government facility and conduct our final acceptance test in December 2011. It's a very aggressive, almost unprecedented schedule from concept-to-combat with a first of its kind system."

In early 2012, LEMV will be transported for demonstration in an operational environment. The program then transitions from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USA SMDC) control to the project manager for the Army's unmanned aircraft systems.

Northrop Grumman has designed a system with plug-and-play capability to provide warfighters with a system that can rapidly accommodate next generation sensors as emerging field requirements dictate.

"Our solution readily integrates into the Army's existing Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS) and Deployable Common Ground System (DCGS) command centers and ground troops in forward operating bases-the main objective is to provide U.S. warfighters with persistent ISR capability to increase awareness of the ever changing battlefield.

"LEMV is longer than a football field, taller than a seven-story building and will remain airborne for more than three weeks at a time, delivering a high level of fuel efficiency. Fuel costs are minimal at $11,000 for a 21-day period of service. It's very green," Metzger added.

Northrop Grumman has teamed with Hybrid Air Vehicles, Ltd. of the United Kingdom using its HAV304 platform, Warwick Mills, ILC Dover, AAI Corporation, SAIC and a team of technology leaders from 18 U.S. states and three countries to build LEMV. Northrop Grumman will provide system integration expertise and flight and ground control operations to safely take off and land the unmanned vehicle for worldwide operations.
 

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