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Flight Series Completes Mantis' Technical Evaluation Phase

BAE Systems has successfully flown the Mantis, largest fully autonomous unmanned aircraft ever to be built in the UK. The first flight took place October 21, 2009 in Woomera, South Australia. During subsequent flights, the twin-engine Mantis successfully completed a series of trials demonstrating the capability of the system and the potential of large unmanned systems to support future UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) operational needs. The trials have concluded the 19 month technology demonstration program, funded jointly by UK MOD and UK Industry. (read more...)


ScanEagle to get MAD Hunting for Submarines

Boeing is working on modifying the Compresses Carriage ScanEagle UAV into an aerial sensor capable of tracking submarines. Working under a U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) contract, Boeing is converting the Scan Eagle's diesel engine to operate in 'magnetically silent' mode, enabling the drone to employ magnetic anomaly detection systems tracking submarines underwater. (read more...)

French, German Troops Experiment Advanced Warfighting Techniques Using Robotics

The recent ARTIST field experiment held by the French and German forces in Germany evaluated advanced warfighting concepts as part of the Air-land operational digitalization study (Bulle OpƩrationnelle AƩroterrestre - BOA). The exercise involved unmanned ground vehicles from both countries, controlled from a mobile ' Robot Spotter' robotic control systems, provided by the French company Robosoft. The system enables the control of unmanned ground vehicles from within the armored vehicles. (read more...)

Luftwaffe: Gearing for an Unmanned Future

The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has made two important steps toward the establishment of its future unmanned aerial systems (UAS) capability. Early last month the first RQ-4B configured for the Euro Hawk rolled out of Northrop Grumman's assembly line at Palmdale. Later in October, the German ministry of defense (BwB) signed the leasing contract for three IAI Heron I UAVs, paving the way for their introduction into service by March next year. These drones will be operated in Afghanistan, supporting the German detachment currently flying Tornado tactical fighters.

Northrop Grumman Develops a STANAG 4586 Compatible Ground Control Station for UAVs

MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System (VUAS) recently completed a flight under the command and control of a new company-developed STANAG 4586 compatible ground control station (GCS). The first series of tests took place at the Yuma Proving Ground in AZ. The new system will be demonstrated as part of the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment at Fort Benning, Ga. The GCS contains multiple radios for voice, secondary command and control and a Tactical Common Data Link for primary command and control and sensor data downlink. The operator stations are fully redundant with PC-based commercial off-the-shelf workstation components. The GCS intercommunication system is digital with an external wireless system for other crew members. Mission planning is accomplished with the Army standard Aviation Mission Planning System. The graphical user interface makes use of the latest technologies and displays an intuitive Primary Flight Display that was developed with input from teams of experienced air vehicle operators. The Vehicle Specific Module can interface with any STANAG 4586 compatible Core Unmanned Control System (CUCS) module such as that used in the Army Universal/One System GCS.