Monday, December 22, 2014
Unmanned Systems
Documents on the Pentagon's unmanned aerial, ground and underwater systems
Inside the Army - 12/22/2014

The Army is considering several technologies and options for reducing the weight load of dismounted soldiers, including autonomous systems and lighter body armor, according to a top Army official.

Inside the Air Force - 12/19/2014

Northrop Grumman has secured a contract to deliver four unmanned RQ-4B Global Hawk surveillance aircraft to South Korea, as Japan begins negotiating a similar deal.

DefenseAlert - 12/18/2014

Modifications being applied to the MQ-9 Reaper to extend the unmanned hunter-killer aircraft's endurance include an alcohol water-injection system that boosts its performance during takeoff and climb.

DefenseAlert - 12/17/2014

After a successful at-sea demonstration of a radar equipped MQ-8B Fire Scout aboard a Coast Guard vessel early this month, the Navy will begin a radar competition for the much larger MQ-8C to provide situational awareness for the fleet, according to a service official.

Inside the Pentagon - 12/18/2014

The Pentagon's advanced research arm is planning an upcoming proposers' day to inform industry about its efforts to enable fast, small unmanned drones to "fly autonomously through complex, cluttered environments," according to a new notice.

Inside the Navy - 12/15/2014

The fiscal year 2015 omnibus appropriations spending bill slashed $41.5 million from the Navy's request for the MQ-4C Triton unmanned autonomous vehicle program and directs additional oversight of the effort because of cost overruns and development delays.

Inside the Air Force - 12/12/2014

The Air Force wants to install external fuel tanks on 53 additional unmanned MQ-9 Reaper aircraft to extend the hunter-killer platform's range.

Inside the Air Force - 12/12/2014

As Congress moves to prevent the Air Force from retiring the U-2 and postpone spending on Global Hawk modifications, the service confirmed this week it does not want to convert the high-altitude spy plane into an optionally-manned aircraft -- as proposed by the original manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

DefenseAlert - 12/10/2014

Raytheon Missile Systems has delivered improvements to the Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer's navigation software and demonstrated a new radio data link for in-flight retargeting.

DefenseAlert - 12/09/2014

On the heels of a new Defense Department Innovation Initiative aimed at identifying next-generation military capabilities, Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's acquisition chief, has commissioned a study on weapon system autonomy due next summer.

DefenseAlert - 12/09/2014

The Air Force has identified the intercontinental ballistic missile force as a rich source of officers for the remotely piloted aircraft career field, according to a report delivered to the Senate Armed Services Committee in September.

DefenseAlert - 12/08/2014

The Navy plans to issue three sole-source contracts that include testing, design updates and software build for the Northrop Grumman-built MQ-4C Triton.

Inside the Navy - 12/08/2014

The Navy is planning to ultimately field a modular unmanned surface vessel that can switch easily between various payloads to support the Littoral Combat Ship's mine-countermeasures mission package, according to a service official.

Inside the Navy - 12/08/2014

The Pentagon's top acquisition executive recently approved a change in a phase of the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program that will limit competition for the air vehicle portion.

Inside the Air Force - 12/05/2014

The Air Force and Office of the Secretary of Defense are going back to the drawing board to figure out how to support both the manned U-2 and unmanned Global Hawk spy planes after Congress moved to block the service's U-2 retirement plan through a provision in the compromise defense policy bill for fiscal year 2015.

DefenseAlert - 12/01/2014

A group of senators have requested an update from the Federal Aviation Administration on its regulation of unmanned aerial systems amid concerns about delays to the rule-making process.

Inside the Air Force - 11/28/2014

Air Force Special Operations Command is looking for industry sources to convert its seven mobile MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper ground control stations at Canon Air Force Base, NM, into fixed terminals, according to a Nov. 24 notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Inside the Air Force - 11/28/2014

The company behind the development of the hunter-killer MQ-1 Predator aircraft believes its new Block 50 ground control station could be rolled out earlier than planned and the Air National Guard could help move the project along.

DefenseAlert - 11/25/2014

The Japanese Ministry of Defense has announced the selection of Northrop Grumman's E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and RQ-4B Global Hawk to meet its military modernization requirements. The country has also decided to procure the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.

Inside the Army - 11/24/2014

The Army is conducting a market survey on sensors that can detect biological warfare agents and be used on multiple unmanned tactical platforms, including drones.

Inside the Army - 11/17/2014

The Army is turning to industry for information on technologies needed to develop a network of trustworthy geolocation data systems.

Inside the Army - 11/17/2014

The Army is looking for technologies to create small, lightweight autonomous ground vehicles that can detect and defeat improvised explosive devices, explore and map underground tunnels, and detect and clear mines, according to a Federal Business Opportunities website announcement.

Inside the Navy - 11/17/2014

The Navy is looking at several efforts to develop lightweight sensors and weapons for future integration onto the Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle in order to support the Littoral Combat Ship's anti-submarine warfare mission, according to the program manager.

Inside the Navy - 11/17/2014

Naval Air Systems Command is looking to industry for a sense-and-avoid radar solution for its MQ-4C Triton unmanned air system, according to a recent request for information.

Inside the Navy - 11/17/2014

The Navy is asking Congress for additional funding to buy 15 Blackjack unmanned air vehicles to support the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to a service spokeswoman.

Inside the Air Force - 11/14/2014

Even though Air Combat Command has no formal requirement for a next-generation remotely piloted aircraft, officials within the Air Staff's RPA capabilities division continue to put forward features to industry that the Air Force believes would be desirable in a new platform.

Inside the Air Force - 11/14/2014

The Defense Department and the Federal Aviation Administration are conducting a review of aviation regulations that require the physical presence of a pilot to "see and avoid" other aircraft because it inadvertently restricts the use of unmanned aircraft in national airspace.

Inside the Pentagon - 11/13/2014

The Pentagon's advanced research arm is seeking help from industry and research labs to determine the feasibility and value of having large aircraft launch and recover a number of small unmanned aircraft systems.

Inside the Pentagon - 11/13/2014

The Defense Information Systems Agency is seeking information on current mobile technology advances in an effort to continue improving enterprise solutions to ensure mobile device security.

DefenseAlert - 11/10/2014

The White House is requesting an additional $5 billion in overseas contingency funding in fiscal year 2015 to support its expanded campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, with $1.6 billion to support the U.S. mission to train and equip Iraqi and Kurdish forces, according to government documents.

Inside the Army - 11/10/2014

The Army has dropped Rockwell Collins as one of the two vendors that will compete to produce a new engine for the Shadow unmanned aircraft system, according to the service's deputy product manager for the program.

Inside the Army - 11/10/2014

Existing Army transport aircraft likely would have to be sidelined to a certain extent if the service were to pursue an unmanned aerial system for the cargo mission, an official said.

Inside the Army - 11/10/2014

A continuing resolution lasting beyond December is likely and may delay several new-start programs in the Army's unmanned systems portfolio, according to the service's director of force development, G-8.

Inside the Army - 11/10/2014

The Army will test the Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system's Link-16 interoperability at a follow-on test next summer, as it continues to field the aircraft at a rate of two per year, a service official said.

Inside the Navy - 11/10/2014

The Marine Corps' MQ-21 Blackjack unmanned aerial system will begin shipboard testing in late fall or early winter aboard an amphibious ship, according to a Naval Air Systems Command spokeswoman.

Inside the Navy - 11/10/2014

The Navy plans to issue a draft request for proposals for its Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle this summer, and expects to release the final RFP by the end of the fiscal year, according to a service official.

Inside the Air Force - 11/07/2014

The annual deployment of high-altitude Global Hawk surveillance aircraft to Japan is expected to conclude in 2017 after the system program office delivers a new weather radar capability and other adverse-weather improvements.

Inside the Air Force - 11/07/2014

The Air Force sees ground-based sense-and-avoid technology as the primary near-term enabler for unmanned aircraft operations in national airspace, especially since an airborne solution is too complex and expensive to field in the near term.

Inside the Air Force - 11/07/2014

The next major capability improvement for remotely piloted aircraft is likely to be air-to-air refueling, according to the Pentagon's top acquisition executive for unmanned systems, Dyke Weatherington.

Inside the Air Force - 11/07/2014

The Global Hawk program office is assessing options for standing up an organic sensor and air vehicle sustainment capability as the unmanned RQ-4 aircraft enters a period of "normalization" after more than 14 years of service with the Air Force.

Inside the Air Force - 11/07/2014

Republican control of the Senate is not expected to have a significant influence on the passage of legislation relating to aviation and the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system, the majority staff director of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said this week.

Inside the Pentagon - 11/06/2014

Affordability remains a major challenge for the Pentagon's unmanned systems portfolio, as defense officials and contractors search for ways to reduce program costs, the Defense Department's director of unmanned warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance said this week.

DefenseAlert - 11/05/2014

The fate of the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike aircraft is still in limbo and the program hopes for a decision by the end of the calendar year, according to a service official.

Inside the Army - 11/03/2014

The Army is adding $82.2 million to a contract for maintaining the RQ-7B Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System operated by the United States and Australia, according to a service official.

Inside the Navy - 11/03/2014

The Marine Corps is looking to industry for a multimillion-dollar facility expansion at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC, so that the service can accommodate its growing unmanned aircraft system force.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, NM -- The training pipeline for MQ-1 pilots and sensor operators remains open even though the Air Force's fiscal year 2015 total force plan would phase out the legacy hunter-killer aircraft by 2017.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

As the Air Force expands flight testing of its long-endurance Orion aircraft, the company behind the unmanned demonstrator platform is considering future operational applications such as maritime patrol and communications relay missions.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, NM -- After years of exponential growth, the Air Force will train fewer MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper aircrews in fiscal year 2015 as the focus shifts to "normalizing" the remotely piloted aircraft training pipeline and turning out more refined pilots and sensor operators.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, NM -- The Predator training community is eager to receive the Block 50 Ground Control Station being developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. because the new design, for the first time, addresses many of the human factor challenges associated with the legacy consoles.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

Aurora Flight Sciences has brought its odd-looking GoldenEye 80 unmanned aerial vehicle out of storage and the company is looking for ways to adapt the technology that was developed for the military for civil or commercial purposes, such as same-day package delivery in urban areas or the transport of blood samples out of quarantined areas.