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Unmanned Systems

August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
A recent Department of Operational Test and Evaluation report that said the MQ-8B Fire Scout was successful on only about half its missions earlier this year aboard the frigate Halyburton (FFG-40) was overly strict on what constituted a successful mission, Rear Adm. William Shannon, program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, said last week.
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Increment 3 version of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial system will help fill the spy plane role as EP-3s begin to leave the service later this decade and as the Navy determines what the next-generation EPX concept will look like, BAMS program manager Capt. James Hoke told reporters last week.
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Fire Scout that was downed in Libya by enemy fire in June was intentionally sent into a hostile environment, MQ-8B program manager Capt. Patrick Smith told reporters Aug. 17 at a symposium in Washington hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Operators had a positive data link with the aircraft and positive indications of the air vehicle on radar at the time it was lost, which the Navy later confirmed was due to enemy fire. "It was tasked and directed into an area where there was active engagement of aircraft," Smith said. "Flying a helicopter below a cloud deck in an area where there's anti-aircraft capabilities -- it's high risk."
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Unmanned systems must become easier to operate, Rear Adm. William Shannon, the Navy's program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, said during a panel session last week held during an industry conference.
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The future of unmanned systems and their developing survivability will hinge on how they adapt in different environments, the director for the office of innovation at the Office of Naval Research told reporters this week.
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Export restrictions may hinder the United States' leading position in unmanned systems on the world stage, Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman's chairman, chief executive officer and president, told reporters this week.
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said last week he sees great potential for using unmanned systems to provide a persistent sensor in the harsh climate of the arctic as climate change opens sea lanes in the "fifth ocean."
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
iRobot plans to bid on two separate unmanned vehicle programs in the coming months, one for mine counter measures and the second program for an expeditionary neutralization system, the company's vice president of maritime systems told Inside the Navy this week.
August 19, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Pentagon officials are vetting an updated version of a concept of operations for countering unmanned drones, according to an official involved in the effort.
August 17, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Officials
from several of the government agencies that work with unmanned aerial systems
have been meeting to determine the best way to invest in unmanned research and
development, and the group's final report will be released at the end of
September, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

August 17, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Pentagon
officials are vetting an updated version of a concept of operations for
countering unmanned drones, according to an official involved in the effort.

August 17, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The recent
Federal Aviation Administration furloughs that caused a partial shutdown forced
the Army to "indefinitely postpone" flying unmanned drones using just
ground-based radars, an official leading the program said.

August 12, 2011 | Daily News

The Navy is considering at least three new aircraft in its effort to build an "endurance upgrade" of the Fire Scout unmanned aerial system for Special Operations Forces, and plans by next month to determine an acquisition strategy for executing what the service calls an "engineering change proposal" to swap out the MQ-8B Schweizer airframe for a larger aircraft.

August 12, 2011 | Inside the Army

An
influential congressman is asking Pentagon acquisition executive Ashton Carter
to intercede on behalf of the Army's recently terminated Autonomous Navigation
System.

August 12, 2011 | Daily News

The push to cut costs in the Air Force's Global Hawk program has Raytheon executives eying a potential reduction to the price of the program's service life extension plan.

Raytheon is responsible for the Global Hawk ground stations.

August 11, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon's advanced research arm has assembled an independent board to review the data collected from today's test flight of the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2, which lost contact more than nine minutes into its flight.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants the team to analyze the flight data collected to expand the Pentagon's "technical understanding of this incredibly harsh flight regime," HTV-2 Program Manager Air Force Maj. Chris Schulz said in a press release.

August 05, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Fire Scout program has received authorization to start modifying the Navy frigate Simpson (FFG-56) in preparation for the drone's second sea-based deployment early next year, and officials are also looking at modifying destroyers, amphibious ships and other ship classes so they can host the unmanned system, according to the program office.
August 05, 2011 | Inside the Army

The Joint Tactical Radio System program office has announced the development of a new waveform that better allows soldiers to control the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

August 01, 2011 | Daily News

A family of unmanned ground vehicles and their associated technologies left over from the failed Future Combat Systems effort have been scrapped by the Army as result of a capability portfolio review, according to a letter sent to Congress last week.

The letter states that a July 29 acquisition decision memorandum has directed the Army to cancel all efforts associated with the Multi-Mission Unmanned Ground Vehicle, the Common Mobility Platform that would have supported it and similar systems, and the Autonomous Navigation System that would have driven it.

July 26, 2011 | Daily News

(Editor's Note: This story was updated on July 29 to include a statement from the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command.)

The Pentagon's plan to deploy the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) to Afghanistan early next year is in doubt after the Army's request for an additional $28 million for the program in the final months of fiscal year 2011 was turned aside.

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