Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Unmanned Systems
Documents on the Pentagon's unmanned aerial, ground and underwater systems
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.

DefenseAlert - 06/03/2014

The number of MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots in the Air National Guard will grow by 369 through 2020 and the number of sensor operators will increase by 315, according to a report sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee in April. The Guard is also slated to grow its targeting enterprise by 543 personnel in the same period as it establishes three new targeting units across the United States.

Inside the Navy - 06/02/2014

The Marine Corps' RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft recently deployed to Afghanistan as part of achieving early operational capability and flew about 66 hours in a combat area during May.

Inside the Air Force - 05/30/2014

Global Hawk prime contractor Northrop Grumman announced a new record for the number of flight hours flown by its Global Hawks, with the total fleet logging 665 in a single week in February. The milestone comes as Congress considers an Air Force plan to keep and improve its RQ-4 fleet while retiring the older U-2 spy planes.

Inside the Navy - 05/26/2014

Naval Air Systems Command recently extended a task order to Textron Systems for filling an unmanned aerial system gap through the drawdown in Afghanistan as the Marine Corps waits for the RQ-21A Blackjack to enter the fleet.

Inside the Army - 05/26/2014

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. said last week that it flew the Army's improved Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system prototype in a second endurance flight test for nearly 40 hours with heavier payloads, according to a May 21 company statement.

DefenseAlert - 05/23/2014

The Senate Armed Service Committee's version of the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill includes provisions that would prohibit the Air Force from retiring any legacy E-3 battle management aircraft or transferring MC-12 spy planes.

DefenseAlert - 05/22/2014

The Senate Armed Services Committee has passed a fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill authorizing $514 billion in base funding and protecting a variety of acquisition programs that were slated for budgets cuts, according to lawmakers who spoke at a May 22 press conference.

Inside the Pentagon - 05/22/2014

The Navy will be unable to support its ailing EP-3E Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System II and Special Projects Aircraft platform at current levels while standing up follow-on capabilities with current funding, according to a letter obtained by Inside the Pentagon.

Inside the Army - 05/19/2014

Oshkosh Defense announced last week that it had integrated its TerraMax Unmanned Ground Vehicle technology onto its Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle to demonstrate its potential in route-clearance missions.

Inside the Navy - 05/19/2014

Despite House authorizers significantly slashing the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program by $203 million, the Navy intends to release a final request for proposals in July, according to a service official.

Inside the Air Force - 05/16/2014

The Federal Aviation Administration is progressing with its integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System by approving two formal certificates of authorization to establish UAS testing ranges in Alaska and North Dakota.

Inside the Air Force - 05/16/2014

The lead operator of an unmanned aircraft systems test site in Texas has submitted requests to the Federal Aviation Administration for clearance to operate drones in additional airspace, which is a tentative first step toward achieving operational status as part of the FAA's UAS test-site program.

Inside the Air Force - 05/16/2014

A Center for Strategic and International Studies recommendation that the Defense Department establish an unmanned aircraft systems office at the Pentagon is gaining traction among House lawmakers and UAS experts.

Inside the Navy - 05/12/2014

The Navy is quantifying the delay to the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program if the House Armed Services Committee's version of the 2015 defense authorization bill stands, which slashed $203 million from the program, according to a service official.

Inside the Navy - 05/12/2014

The Marine Corps intends to field unmanned ground assets in October for use in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions to Marine Expeditionary Units and crisis response units, according to a service official.

Inside the Air Force - 05/09/2014

House authorizers this week approved a bill that, if passed, would prevent the Air Force from obligating fiscal year 2015 funds to begin divesting the U-2 spy plane, potentially shielding Beale Air Force Base, CA, from wide-ranging force structure changes.

Inside the Air Force - 05/09/2014

U.S. Pacific Command needs every intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform it can get to monitor escalating tensions in its area of responsibility, and the command is counting on the arrival of additional RQ-4 Global Hawks to Japan and support from the Air Force's E-8C community to bolster its intelligence-gathering capabilities, the commander of Pacific Air Forces said this week.

DefenseAlert - 05/07/2014

A proposed House Armed Services Committee bill would shift $6.8 billion among weapon system investment accounts in the Pentagon's fiscal year 2015 budget request and boost modernization spending by a total of $1.5 billion.

DefenseAlert - 05/06/2014

The Defense Department is weighing the creation of a new ground vehicle technology consortium aimed at increasing cohesion between industry and the military in a variety of research and development projects, according to a Pentagon official.

DefenseAlert - 05/05/2014

The House Armed Services Committee outlined its budgetary handiwork this week in the panel's full mark of the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill, laying out acquisition program reductions and increases.