Friday, October 31, 2014
Unmanned Systems
Documents on the Pentagon's unmanned aerial, ground and underwater systems
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.

DefenseAlert - 10/30/2014

The Pentagon's acquisition executive, who has repeatedly voiced concerns about future U.S. military technological superiority, has directed four new assessments of capability areas the Defense Department must not cede to competitors -- directing separate task forces to assess air dominance, next-generation unmanned undersea systems, cyber defense and cyber deterrence.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/30/2014

As part of the ongoing effort to fly unmanned aircraft systems in U.S. skies, the Air Force and Army recently completed a joint test to help determine the most effective way to display and provide information to UAS operators, according to service officials leading the effort.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/30/2014

Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's call in September for a "game-changing offset strategy" to restore the U.S. military's technological edge, a Washington-based think tank has called for a new defense strategy centered around a "global surveillance and strike network."

DefenseAlert - 10/28/2014

The Federal Aviation Administration is weeks, if not days, away from releasing a draft rule on the safe integration of small unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system.

Inside the Navy - 10/27/2014

The Navy has decided to defer Fire Scout support for the Littoral Combat Ship's anti-submarine warfare mission due primarily to fiscal constraints, according to a defense official.

Inside the Air Force - 10/24/2014

Rolls-Royce has almost completed the physical construction of a new, organic RQ-4B Global Hawk engine maintenance and overhaul facility for the Air Force at Tinker Air Force Base's Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, and soon plant equipment will be moving to the factory floor to have the facility operational by the end of calendar year 2015, as planned.

Inside the Air Force - 10/24/2014

The Air Force is struggling to generate enough organic aircrews to support the high operational demand for MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers and is considering hiring contractors as pilots and sensor operators to support non-combat missions after an existing arrangement expires in 2016.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/23/2014

U.S. Special Operations Command intends to release a draft request for proposals this fall to help develop an unmanned, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance program, according to an Oct. 15 notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Inside the Navy - 10/20/2014

The Littoral Combat Ship Coronado (LCS-4) recently completed dynamic interface testing with the Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle, which is planned to deploy as part of the LCS surface warfare and mine countermeasures mission packages, the Navy announced last week.

Inside the Air Force - 10/17/2014

The Air Force has approved a new acquisition concept for the MQ-9 Reaper that will reduce the cycle time between capability upgrades, according to the head of Air Combat Command's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance weapons systems division.

Inside the Navy - 10/13/2014

Northrop Grumman recently demonstrated the capabilities of its Mine Hunting Unmanned surface vehicle, which is planned ultimately to deploy off of the Navy's Flight II Littoral Combat Ship, according to a company official.

Inside the Navy - 10/13/2014

The Navy successfully tested its swarmboat technology and is planning an operational demonstration of the technology within the year, which may be used in the future to escort billion-dollar ships, defend people, ports, waterways and commerce, according to a service official.

Inside the Army - 10/13/2014

Electronic warfare systems used to combat improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan are among the capabilities eyed by the Army for taking down unmanned aircraft systems, according to a service official.

Inside the Army - 10/13/2014

The Army hopes to acquire an unmanned surveillance aircraft that can fly for up to eight hours at upwards of 16,000 feet, according to a request for information posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

Air Combat Command has commissioned a study to determine what type of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft the Air Force will need 10 to 15 years from now, and the prevailing view is the new aircraft will be multirole, having both surveillance and strike capabilities.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

Air Combat Command appears ready to support Northrop Grumman's universal payload adapter solution for transferring sensors from the U-2 to the RQ-4B Global Hawk once it is determined which sensors would be most appropriate to carry on the high-altitude unmanned surveillance aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

Air Education and Training Command has signaled interest in potentially transitioning its undergraduate remotely piloted aircraft training syllabus from the T-6 flight simulator to a "universal RPA simulator."

Inside the Navy - 10/06/2014

The Navy last week awarded Textron Systems a contract to develop an unmanned mine-hunting system that will equip the service's Littoral Combat Ship.

Inside the Navy - 10/06/2014

General Dynamics Land Systems recently showcased its unmanned ground vehicle at an annual Marine Corps conference as a solution to reduce the logistics burden on the force.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

Operational testing of the RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 40 system has been pushed back to the third quarter of fiscal year 2015 because of test resource availability and difficulties integrating the remotely piloted aircraft's synthetic aperture radar with the Air Force's back-end processing, exploitation and dissemination network, the service has confirmed.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

The Air Force wants to catch up on a number Global Hawk air vehicle modifications including adverse weather upgrades, now that it has decided to continue operating the aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

Northrop Grumman has expressed confidence in its ability to re-host the U-2 spy plane's sensors on the remotely piloted Global Hawk after providing the Air Force with the initial results of a feasibility study.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

More than five months after the Air Force descoped its MQ-9 Reaper procurement strategy, the Defense Department Inspector General released publicly the summary of an audit that criticizes the service's previous plan and encourages it to re-evaluate its strategy.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/02/2014

NASA is seeking industry's help on researching and developing autonomous technology for small unmanned drones in the first of what could be a series of requests to help integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace, according to a new request for information.

DefenseAlert - 09/30/2014

Global Hawk prime contractor Northrop Grumman has provided the Air Force with the initial results of a congressionally mandated study that looks at options for employing U-2 spy plane sensor payloads on the remotely piloted RQ-4B Global Hawk.

DefenseAlert - 09/26/2014

The Defense Department has necked down a five-way competition to develop a new medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft capable of being launched and recovered from small ships, awarding Northrop Grumman and AeroVironment contracts to mature technology and conduct preliminary design for their respective Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) UAV concepts.

Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

After saving the program from termination this month, the Air Force is working to validate the capabilities of its long-endurance Orion unmanned aerial system with a series of flight tests extending into fiscal year 2015.

DefenseAlert - 09/24/2014

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The Navy expects to drop its total buy of Triton MQ-4C air vehicles below the 68 it had planned for because the system is "more reliable" than anticipated and fewer aircraft are expected to be lost to attrition, according to a service official.

DefenseAlert - 09/23/2014

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The fate of the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance Strike aircraft will be determined in mid-October, according to a service official.

DefenseAlert - 09/23/2014

Air Combat Command has re-framed the debate over what type of environment its next-generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft will be designed for.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

The head of the Air Force's international affairs office has renewed calls for a government policy on the export of remotely piloted aircraft, saying the transfer of those types of unmanned aircraft to coalition partners remains her No. 1 priority as a way of bolstering intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capacity.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

The Air Force's remotely piloted aircraft capabilities division is developing a long-term strategy to guide the development of small unmanned aircraft systems and the team is looking to academia and industry for input, according to the head of that office.

DefenseAlert - 09/16/2014

The Air Force's remotely piloted aircraft capabilities division is developing a long-term strategy to guide the development of small unmanned aircraft systems and the team is looking to academia and industry for input, according to the head of that office.

Inside the Army - 09/15/2014

The Army has tapped Carnegie Robotics for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Autonomous Mine Detection System, the service announced Sept. 8.

Inside the Air Force - 09/12/2014

As the Air Force prepares for the eventual retirement of the legacy MQ-1 Predator aircraft, plans are firming on what to do with those airframes once they are removed from operation.

Inside the Air Force - 09/12/2014

The Air Force wants to save its long-endurance Orion Remotely Piloted Aircraft program from termination following a successful series of flight tests that concluded in August.

DefenseAlert - 09/09/2014

The Air Force's original unmanned hunter-killer aircraft, the MQ-1 Predator, will probably remain in service until around fiscal year 2019 because the service does not have the capacity to pull aircrews away from their current combat duties for retraining on the newer MQ-9 Reaper system.

DefenseAlert - 09/09/2014

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency last week briefed an array of engineers and designers who are eying participation in the agency's new Ground X-Vehicle Technology program, which is intended to explore a variety of approaches, including autonomous technology, to decrease combat vehicle weight.

Inside the Navy - 09/08/2014

A high-level assessment of the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike aircraft has been delayed because of future budget uncertainty and affordability concerns, the Pentagon's acquisition chief said last week.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board has been directed to examine the way forward for remotely piloted aircraft as the service looks beyond current operating environments to more heavily defended airspace.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

The government has no near-term plans to push military-grade unmanned aerial vehicles off the Missile Technology Control Regime's Category I control list, despite calls from the defense industry and the Pentagon's international affairs community to consider changes.

Inside the Army - 09/01/2014

The Army has awarded ImSAR LLC a $98.9 million contract to research, develop and integrate small aperture radars on small unmanned aerial systems, according to a notice posted to the Defense Department's website.

Inside the Navy - 09/01/2014

The Navy last week issued a request for proposals for its remote multimission vehicle, a crucial component to the mine reconnaissance system designed for integration onto the service's Littoral Combat Ship.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

As Boeing prepares to begin modifications to its first low-rate initial production lot of QF-16 target drones, the company is working to complete operational testing in anticipation of a full-rate production contract award from the Air Force early next year.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/28/2014

The Naval Air Systems Command seeks industry's help to find solutions for small, vertical-take-off-and-landing unmanned aircraft systems that can be fielded immediately.