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Unmanned Systems

March 23, 2012 | Inside the Navy
The Navy has identified six manned and unmanned aircraft platforms that will form the "family of systems" that will serve as the replacement for the EP-3, although the actual makeup of the concept hasn't been fully developed yet, according to written testimony submitted to Congress last week.
March 23, 2012 | Inside the Army

F-model Kiowa Warrior helicopters with Shadow unmanned aircraft is the most
affordable way to fulfill the Army's Armed Aerial Scout requirement, service
officials concluded in an analysis of alternatives provided to the Office of
the Secretary of Defense in January.

March 16, 2012 | Inside the Army

As Army
intelligence leaders review their equipment portfolio in light of budget
reductions and the withdrawal from Afghanistan within a year or two, U.S.
partners, including the Afghans themselves, could end up getting surveillance
balloons and other equipment once rushed to the country to support American
troops, according to Lt. Gen. Richard Zahner, the Army's deputy chief of staff
for intelligence.

March 16, 2012 | Inside the Army

The Army
wants to spend part of a $2 million technology development pot requested in its
fiscal year 2013 budget to study novel modes of locomotion for unmanned
aircraft, eying so-called "flapping-wing" technology for tiny future aircraft
that can endure rugged environments, according to service officials.

March 16, 2012 | Inside the Army

Ft. Campbell, KY, will be a fielding location for a contingent of Medium Altitude Long Endurance unmanned aircraft systems, according to an Army spokesman. The service plans to build a hangar complex for the UAS with a price tag that falls between $25 million and $100 million, a Feb. 24 solicitation for design and construction proposals on the Federal Business Opportunities website indicated.

March 16, 2012 | Daily News

The Pentagon wants Congress to alter a law designed to give preference to unmanned systems so that either manned systems or drones could be considered to fill capability requirements.

In a new legislative proposal obtained by InsideDefense.com, the Defense Department also wants to do away with the law's requirement that DOD certify an unmanned system is incapable of meeting program requirements when developing a manned system.

March 09, 2012 | Inside the Navy
The Navy officially canceled the Medium Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System effort via a recent posting on Federal Business Opportunities, but the service will go ahead and complete the analysis of alternatives anyway to inform future programs.
March 06, 2012 | Daily News

Rather than placing its fleet of Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft in storage, the Air Force should consider transferring the 18 remotely piloted aircraft to the Navy, U.S. Special Operations Command or another organization that could benefit from employing the airplane, a senior House appropriator said today.

March 05, 2012 | Daily News

The Navy has begun "pre-milestone A activities" for an aircraft platform -- or a collection of manned or unmanned platforms -- that will replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, according to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

In written testimony submitted prior to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee's March 1 hearing on the Navy budget, Mabus acknowledged that the Navy will need to replace its Super Hornet fleet in the far term, and initial activities "are underway to define the follow-on F/A-XX aircraft."

March 02, 2012 | Inside the Navy
The Navy will double the usage of the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon is seeking to reprogram money to make that happen.
February 27, 2012 | Daily News

(Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:35pm to add comments from the program manager explaining that the new studies are unrelated to the ongoing analysis of alternatives.)

The Navy is eying a new round of competitive contracts to help refine its concept of the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System (UCLASS), a prelude to seeking permission from the Pentagon to begin developing technology for the next-generation effort this summer.

February 24, 2012 | Inside the Army

The Army's
Rapid Equipping Force is considering the procurement of a fleet of
semi-autonomous, cargo-hauling robots small enough to fit through entryways
after field tests began just weeks ago on a handful of bigger and noisier robotic

February 24, 2012 | Inside the Navy
Current testing of the Littoral Combat Ship's mine countermeasures mission package is just the beginning of the Navy's effort to get a better handle on mine warfare, a Navy official said at a recent conference.
February 24, 2012 | Daily News

ORLANDO, FL -- The Air Force is beginning to analyze the way it sustains its newest platforms, especially those performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, after years of depending almost exclusively on contractors to provide that support, the service's top civilian said today.

February 22, 2012 | Inside the Pentagon

Industry must submit bids by next week to help design, build and support testing of a multimillion-dollar unmanned system the Pentagon claims will be a game changer in the world of anti-submarine warfare.

February 17, 2012 | Inside the Army

The Army's plan to hold a demonstration to assess industry's armed aerial scout helicopter offerings will be pushed from the spring into the summer as the result of a delay in Pentagon authorization, according to an Army aviation official.

February 17, 2012 | Inside the Army

aerial system-maker Aerovironment has teamed up with Australian company
Sentient to offer new target detection software on all of its small unmanned
air systems, such as the Puma, of which the Army wants to buy 51 more,
according to a Feb. 7 reprogramming request.

February 17, 2012 | Daily News

The Air Force will be pouring about $81 million more into its RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft program in fiscal year 2013 than the service initially projected it would need last year, despite a Feb. 6 Pentagon announcement that the Block 30 variant of the Global Hawk program would be terminated.

February 13, 2012 | Daily News

(Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect additional information released by Air Force officials this afternoon.)

The Air Force's fiscal year 2013 budget request recommends moving the procurement of 98 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft out of the current five-year defense plan, buying half as many MQ-9 Reapers as in FY-12, cutting two acquisition programs designed to build partnership capacity and continuing early research on a next-generation bomber to the tune of $6.3 billion over the next five years, two senior service budget officials said this morning.

February 10, 2012 | Inside the Navy
A few unanticipated delays in the initial phases of the MQ-8C Fire Scout endurance upgrade and the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Strike and Surveillance system will result in some minor schedule slips, Rear Adm. William Shannon, program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike systems, told Inside the Navy last week.