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Unmanned Systems

May 01, 2012 | Daily News

The Air Force's top military official today urged policymakers to loosen export-control restrictions and allow the Defense Department to share more of its unarmed and unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms with international partners.

April 27, 2012 | Inside the Navy
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The Navy will begin sea trials in fiscal year 2015 for a 3,000-pound unmanned underwater vehicle known as the Knifefish, which can detect and positively identify mines on the ocean floor and fill a gap in the Littoral Combat Ship's mine countermeasures capability, a program official told Inside the Navy recently.
April 27, 2012 | Inside the Navy
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Boeing was unable to field the A160 Hummingbird in time for the Marine Corps' cargo unmanned aerial system demonstration program, but the company still sees an emerging requirement that the UAS will be able to fill for the Navy in the future, a Boeing official told Inside the Navy here recently.
April 27, 2012 | Inside the Army

Following a series
of internal engine failures in Shadow unmanned aerial systems in theater, the
Army is taking steps to replace the old engines with a new High Reliable
Propulsion System, according to the UAS Ground Maneuver product manager.

April 27, 2012 | Inside the Army

A group of
House lawmakers have called for fiscal year 2013 research and development funds
for the MQ-18 vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aircraft system to be put
on hold until the Defense Department shows the system can meet requirements
that another aircraft already in the inventory can't fill.

April 26, 2012 | Daily News

U.S. Special Operations Command is asking Congress to fund a $143 million shortfall in the command's fiscal year 2013 budget request to acquire significantly improved video capabilities for drones and aircraft, an urgent need endorsed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

SOCOM chief Adm. William McRaven described the need in an April 9 reply to the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), who requested unfunded-requirements lists from the command and all of the armed services.

April 24, 2012 | Daily News

The Navy has awarded a $262.3 million contract to Northrop Grumman to build eight MQ-8C unmanned helicopters -- essentially MQ-8B Fire Scouts with Bell 407 airframes -- just a few months after the Office of the Secretary of Defense approved the idea, the Pentagon announced late yesterday.

April 20, 2012 | Inside the Navy
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Technical issues that forced the crew of the frigate Simpson (FFG-56) to dump an MQ-8B Fire Scout into the water off the coast of West Africa are not related to datalink problems outlined in a Director of Operational Test and Evaluation report on the program last year, the program manager said here last week.
April 20, 2012 | Inside the Army

NASHVILLE, TN -- The Army's ARGUS A-160 unmanned rotorcraft should wrap up operationally realistic testing at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, at the end of this month, preparing it for a scheduled June deployment to Afghanistan as a quick reaction capability, according to Boeing program officials.

April 17, 2012 | Daily News

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The MQ-8B Fire Scout program manager said today that the unmanned helicopter can be flown if a commander deems it operationally necessary, though no mission-related flights have occurred since two aircraft crashed earlier this year.

April 16, 2012 | Daily News

The Miniature Air-Launched Decoy-Jammer's prime contractor, Raytheon, confirmed this week that the Air Force has ordered the company to stop work on the MALD-J's second increment after it was canceled in the fiscal year 2013 budget request.

April 11, 2012 | Inside the Pentagon

Two MQ-8B Fire Scout crashes that led the Navy to suspend operations of the drones at sea and in Afghanistan are on track to trigger not only confidential safety reviews but also public Judge Advocate General investigations.

April 11, 2012 | Daily News

The Defense Department has detailed its long-term aircraft plans in a report that for the first time includes all military rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, operational support and executive aircraft programs -- providing unprecedented detail about the Pentagon's 10-year, $770 billion plan to sustain a fleet of more than 14,000 aircraft.

April 06, 2012 | Inside the Navy
The Navy recently opened its Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research, which aligns with the Office of Naval Research's two top priorities -- advancing robotics and autonomy, according to a top Navy official.
April 06, 2012 | Inside the Army

-- Recent success with manned-unmanned teaming in Apache Block III program
testing has allayed concerns that the pairing of the attack helicopter with a
Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system would overload pilots, according to the
military deputy to the Army acquisition executive.

April 06, 2012 | Inside the Army

-- The Training and Doctrine Command capability manager for unmanned aerial
systems said last week he is curious to see what is learned during the first
Afghanistan deployment of two units with new UAS capabilities this year.

March 30, 2012 | Inside the Navy
Problems highlighted in a report last year by the Pentagon's top weapons tester prompted the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system program to delay the planned start of operational test and evaluation, scheduled to begin last month, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office.
March 30, 2012 | Inside the Army

Textron Systems is slated to brief Army leadership on initial cost estimates to upgrade the service's Shadow unmanned aircraft systems with a more powerful engine and a new fuselage at the Army Aviation Association of America's annual conference in Nashville, TN, this week, the company's UAS general manager Steven Reid said.

March 30, 2012 | Inside the Army

The Army expects an acquisition decision memorandum from the Office of the Secretary of Defense around April 23 that will allow it to move forward in hosting its armed aerial scout demonstration, according to the service's deputy acquisition executive.

March 30, 2012 | Daily News

The Defense Department has approved a proposed Navy acquisition strategy that would allow Northrop Grumman to select a new aircraft for the MQ-8C Fire Scout program, part of an “endurance modification” effort to swap out nearly all of the hardware and software from the MQ-8B Schweizer airframe into a larger Textron-Bell 407 helicopter.