Saturday, August 30, 2014
Unmanned Systems
Documents on the Pentagon's unmanned aerial, ground and underwater systems
Inside the Navy - 08/25/2014

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, VA -- The Defense Acquisition Board will meet to discuss the Navy's latest plans for its Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike aircraft on Sept. 10, a service official told reporters last week, and a final request for proposals from industry will go out soon afterward, in early September.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

Northrop Grumman executives say a recent $241 million contract for three unmanned RQ-4B aircraft will preserve the Global Hawk production line until the Navy ramps up procurement of its maritime derivative, the MQ-4C Triton.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/21/2014

As part of its ongoing effort to integrate unmanned drones into the national airspace, the Pentagon is conducting a second round of field tests with an eye toward developing operating procedures for unmanned aircraft systems, according to a recent report Defense Department acquisition chief Frank Kendall sent to lawmakers.

DefenseAlert - 08/18/2014

The Air Force has put Northrop Grumman on contract for one final order of remotely piloted RQ-4B aircraft, bringing the service a step closer to satisfying its total requirement and ending Global Hawk production.

DefenseAlert - 08/18/2014

Lockheed Martin is touting its simulation of a fully autonomous mission using an unmanned helicopter and unmanned ground vehicle.

DefenseAlert - 08/17/2014

ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) -- The Navy on Sunday held its first demonstration of carrier-based integrated flight operations involving manned and unmanned aircraft, with the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator's most recent detachment aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.

Inside the Army - 08/18/2014

The Army's acquisition executive laid out plans for a key robotics platform last week, telling industry officials that the system will feature an open architecture and a common chassis that can support multiple mission payloads.

Inside the Army - 08/18/2014

As it develops its unmanned vehicle platforms, the Army is moving toward more open interface standards that will improve communication between subsystems and allow larger vehicles to be used as unmanned platforms, according to an Army official.

Inside the Army - 08/11/2014

The Army has cited cyber, material sciences and robotics -- including manned and unmanned air/ground teaming -- among its top priorities in its newly established "Force 2025 and Beyond" directorate, according to a service overview and memo on the directorate released last week.

Inside the Navy - 08/11/2014

Naval Air Systems Command is looking to repair the K-MAX cargo unmanned aerial system that was damaged in Afghanistan before it is put into storage, according to a service spokeswoman.

Inside the Navy - 08/11/2014

Shipboard testing for the Marine Corps' RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aerial system is delayed because of ship availability, according to a Naval Air Systems Command spokeswoman.

DefenseAlert - 08/08/2014

Naval Air Systems Command is looking to repair the K-MAX cargo unmanned aerial system that was damaged in Afghanistan before it is put into storage, according to a service spokeswoman.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

Although the active-duty Air Force continues to support the bulk of global remotely piloted aircraft operations, Air National Guard units such as the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing at March Air Reserve Base in California are proving to be invaluable sources of operational expertise and experience.

Inside the Army - 08/04/2014

An Army cargo unmanned aerial system could cost nearly twice as much as operating and sustaining an equal capability from a current service helicopter, according to a new report on the potential utility of a cargo UAS for the Army.

DefenseAlert - 07/29/2014

The outgoing head of Air Combat Command this week questioned the public's "love affair" with unmanned aircraft and talked up the capability of the manned U-2 spy plane, which the Air Force wants to retire.

Inside the Army - 07/28/2014

The Army successfully tested a new communications jammer on an unmanned aerial vehicle last month as part of the service's efforts to develop the next generation of electronic warfare capabilities.

Inside the Army - 07/28/2014

The contract award for an autonomous system that would detect, mark and neutralize landmines has been delayed until September due to ongoing discussions between the Army and potential offerors.

Inside the Navy - 07/28/2014

The Pentagon did not hold a meeting planned for last week on the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program due to a scheduling conflict, according to a Defense Department official.

Inside the Air Force - 07/25/2014

As lawmakers and Pentagon officials debate whether the overseas contingency operations budget is being used as a "slush fund," Air Force mishap numbers appear to support the service's request to buy 12 MQ-9 Reapers using wartime funds.

DefenseAlert - 07/24/2014

The Marine Corps is developing requirements for a future cargo unmanned aerial system platform following the deployment of the K-MAX system in Afghanistan, according to a Navy official.

Inside the Navy - 07/21/2014

Senate appropriations committee members are concerned the Navy will proceed with the development of the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program before establishing 'stable requirements,' a position that is reflected in the panel's recent mark of the fiscal year 2015 spending bill.

DefenseAlert - 07/18/2014

The Navy next week will seek permission from the Pentagon's acquisition executive to launch a four-way competition for the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike air vehicle and issue a classified request for proposals as the service moves forward with its plan to integrate unprecedented capabilities into its aircraft carrier strike groups, according to a senior official.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

With the transfer of its beloved A-10s to Moody Air Force Base, GA, and the departure of the majority of its pilots, the 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air Force National Guard is working through the challenges associated with converting from manned to unmanned platforms.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/17/2014

The Army aims to conduct a test next month, in conjunction with the Air Force, to help determine the most effective way to display information to unmanned aircraft system operators, according to a service official helping to lead the effort.

DefenseAlert - 07/16/2014

The Navy will be forced to significantly delay early operational capability for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program if a House defense bill becomes law, according to military officials.

DefenseAlert - 07/15/2014

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has supported an array of Pentagon weapons programs in its $549.3 billion military spending bill for fiscal year 2015, including the Air Force's fleet of A-10 aircraft; the Army's combat vehicle industrial base; and the Navy's modernization of USS George Washington (CVN 73) and fleet of EA-18G Growlers.

Inside the Navy - 07/14/2014

The Navy plans to release a final request for proposals for its Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program by the end of the month despite criticism from Capitol Hill over the service's requirements for the program.

Inside the Air Force - 07/11/2014

After losing its F-16 fighter jets and the majority of its pilots to other wings, the 132nd Fighter Wing Operations Group of the Iowa Air National Guard is working to complete its transition to MQ-9 Reaper operations one year ahead of schedule.

Inside the Air Force - 07/11/2014

Australia has accepted a request from NATO's International Security Assistance Force to operate its remotely piloted aircraft in Afghanistan for an additional five months, according to a statement by the country's Department of Defence.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/10/2014

The Army recently conducted a successful integration test of its system designed to enable unmanned drones to sense-and-avoid other aircraft, according to the officials helping to oversee the effort.

DefenseAlert - 07/08/2014

The Army has begun testing the integration of applications into the open architecture software framework for its next generation of unmanned aircraft systems controllers and is seeking industry feedback, according to a service spokesman.

Inside the Navy - 07/07/2014

The Navy recently awarded Northrop Grumman a $63 million contract modification for the second phase of the X-47B unmanned carrier system-demonstrator program with some of the money going toward at-sea testing aboard an aircraft carrier in August, according to the service.

Inside the Air Force - 07/04/2014

The Air Force's inventory of more than 1,000 Miniature Air Launched Decoy jammers, which are designed to jam or confuse enemy air defenses, will remain compatible only with the B-52 bomber and F-16 fighter jets for now, but Raytheon has confirmed that it is continuing to pursue efforts that could see the system deployed from a C-130 and MQ-9 Reaper as early as 2015.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/03/2014

A multi-agency group tasked with helping integrate drones into U.S. skies is seeking industry's help to find ways to reduce the cost, size, weight and power of sense-and-avoid systems on unmanned aircraft.

Inside the Navy - 06/30/2014

The chairman of the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee is concerned the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program will not be able to combat today's threats or threats in the future.

DefenseAlert - 06/27/2014

The Pentagon is seeking an additional $6.1 billion for new weapons as part of a $58.6 billion fiscal year 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations spending package, hoping to replenish ammunition expended during operations in Afghanistan, replace aircraft and vehicles lost in combat and lift the administration's total FY-15 weapons modernization request from $154 billion to $160 billion.

Inside the Air Force - 06/27/2014

The Pentagon's new developmental testing initiative to find and resolve problems with major defense programs earlier in the acquisition process has benefited a number of programs including the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system, the Space Fence and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, Inside the Pentagon has learned.

DefenseAlert - 06/26/2014

To help advance U.S. security efforts and avoid setting a dangerous precedent, the Obama administration should enhance transparency and oversight of targeted drone strikes, according to a new yearlong study by the Stimson Center.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/26/2014

Senate authorizers have recommended additional research funds for the MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle to address technology gaps identified by U.S. Special Operations Command.

Inside the Navy - 06/23/2014

A six-month delay to an operational assessment for the Navy's Remote Mine Hunting System, an integral component to the Littoral Combat Ship's mine countermeasures mission package, has resulted in a "modest" cost impact to the program, according to a Navy official.

Inside the Navy - 06/23/2014

The Office of Naval Research is developing a mobile laser weapon system for use on light tactical vehicles in order to counter a proliferating threat from unmanned aerial vehicles.

Inside the Navy - 06/23/2014

The Marine Corps will award a sole-source contract to Insitu for the RQ-21A Blackjack aircraft as part of a third low-rate initial production buy with an option for three full-rate production units, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.

Inside the Air Force - 06/20/2014

With six Air National Guard units already supporting MQ-1 unmanned aircraft operations and another six standing up to back MQ-9 missions by 2020, the Guard is preparing for additional training and retraining requirements by covering its Predator schoolhouse in California to all-Reaper operations, according to a new report.

DefenseAlert - 06/18/2014

The Pentagon's top acquisition official recently reviewed and restructured the Navy's Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle program, lowering the total number of aircraft bought by 56 and dropping total program costs by $551 million, according to a June 16 letter sent to Congress.

DefenseAlert - 06/17/2014

The House Appropriations Committee wants to increase funding for the Army's Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system procurement by $49 million, according to its fiscal year 2015 defense spending bill.

DefenseAlert - 06/17/2014

The chief of the Air Force's international affairs office is pushing the U.S. government to implement a more relaxed export policy covering the sale of remotely piloted aircraft to foreign partners as a way of building regional capacity in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance domain.

Inside the Army - 06/16/2014

Senate authorizers want a briefing from the Defense Department on the feasibility of deploying a second Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System to another combatant command area of operation, according to their version of the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill.

Inside the Navy - 06/09/2014

Senate authorizers are in agreement with their House counterparts that creating a separate fund for building Ohio-class replacement submarines and developing unmanned underwater vehicles are a critical national security interest, according to a report accompanying the Senate's mark of the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill.

Inside the Army - 06/09/2014

The Army's Shadow unmanned aircraft system was teamed with AH-64 Apache helicopters as part of its operational test at the Network Integration Evaluation last month and initial results appear positive, according to the service's Shadow product manager.

Inside the Air Force - 06/06/2014

The Air Force said it will not compromise safety in order to meet the current schedule for integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace despite considerable pressure from civilian and military operators to speed up the process.