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UK to Expand UAV programs

BAE Systems and the Royal Air Force’s Air Warfare Centre Unmanned Air Vehicle Battlelab (AUB) announced on Sept. 20, 2006 they will assess the role of autonomous UAVs in military operations, as part of a two-year evaluation program. Under ‘Project Morrigan’ BAE System's HERTI Autonomous Unmanned Air Vehicle System will be introduced progressively to more complex military exercises, to better understand the contribution autonomous UAV systems can make in the joint battlespace.

According to Air Commodore Tim Anderson, Commandant of the Air Warfare Centre (AWC), the integration of a HERTI system into existing UK Military exercises and training events, such as the operational flying phase of our Combined Qualified Weapons Instructor training, will enable the assessment of potential capability and Tactics, Techniques & Procedures (TTPs) for future UAVs integration into future, joint manned / unmanned force structures. "These are early stage assessments but they could have a significant impact on the way air warfare capabilities and doctrine development in future years.” Air Commodore Anderson said. Established earlier this year, the AUB’s Mission Directive is to test, evaluate and develop the potential for UAVs to be integrated into the Joint Operational air environment and deliver effective operational capabilities.

Under a separate program, the UK is Expected to Embark on a Major UCAV program. Aviation Week & Space Technology reporter Douglas Barrie predicts in an article published on September 20th that the UK is about to embark on a major Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) program in the upcoming weeks. The stealthy British UCAV will be used for strike, and strategic surveillance and reconnaissance missions. A team headed by BAE Systems submitted a proposal for the development of a UCAV demonstrator earlier this year. Other team members include Qinetiq, Smiths Industries, and Rolls Royce.




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  Updated: 09/24/2006



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