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Unmanned Systems

January 27, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Pentagon acquisition officials met this week to discuss the Army's MQ-1C unmanned aircraft, moving the armed drone program one step closer to a second low-rate initial production decision.

January 26, 2011 | Daily News

The Navy is witnessing a great deal of progress in the development of Iraqi naval forces as U.S. forces are withdrawn from the region, but the Iraqis will need periodic support from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and 5th Fleet, told reporters today.

“As we draw down from Iraq, there will be a need and a requirement to have a carrier inside the Gulf sometimes to provide overwatch opportunities to train and operate [with Iraqi forces],” Fox said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington.

January 24, 2011 | Daily News

A new Air Force sensor designed to give commanders a bird's-eye view of the battlefield below them cannot track people once they exit vehicles and has trouble seeing all targets at night, according to draft report by service testers.

The internal Air Force audit of the new, supposedly all-seeing Gorgon Stare sensor, conducted by Air Combat Command's 53rd Wing, reveals an unreliable system of high-power cameras that frequently crashes during test flights. The 53rd is responsible for operational testing of new equipment for strike aircraft.

January 21, 2011 | Inside the Navy
One of the main lessons coming out of the first brigade-level amphibious exercise on the East Coast in nearly 10 years is the importance of interservice coordination when using unmanned assets for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, according to Maj. Shannon Greene, the intelligence plans officer for Expeditionary Strike Group Two, who spoke with Inside the Navy in a Jan. 19 interview.
January 21, 2011 | Inside the Army

The Army
expects soon to issue requests for proposals for A160 Hummingbird sensor
upgrades and deployment as part of an Army intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance-focused, vertical-take-off-and-landing quick-reaction
capability, according to an industry official.

January 21, 2011 | Inside the Army

The Army
plans to operate satellite technology comparable to its unmanned aerial
vehicles, with plans to launch an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
nanosatellite later this year.

January 20, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Defense Department has postponed a major milestone decision for a new naval concept that calls for developing unmanned, carrier-based drones for surveillance and strike missions.

January 20, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Pentagon is internally circulating a new report that spells out how unmanned drones should respond when they lose their connection with ground control, according to a Pentagon source who called the report "the most comprehensive procedures document ever written" for unmanned aircraft systems.

January 18, 2011 | Daily News

The MQ-9 Reaper, an armed unmanned aircraft system employed in strikes against key targets in Afghanistan, is still unable to demonstrate one of three requisite capabilities expected when the military launched the $11.3 billion program in 2005 -- the ability to hunt targets on the ground in poor weather conditions, according to the Pentagon's top tester.

January 13, 2011 | Daily News

An independent assessment of the Air Force's Global Hawk program, commissioned last July in the wake of concerns about growing costs, concludes the $13 billion, high-flying, long-endurance unmanned aircraft program -- built by Northrop Grumman -- requires “major revisions.”

Select findings of this review are revealed in the annual report from the Pentagon's top weapons tester, delivered to Congress and the defense secretary this week. The report says core elements of the Air Force's Global Hawk program acquisition plan were deemed inadequate.

January 13, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Pentagon and the Army have decided to buy two additional sets of the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle and one additional set of Network Integration Kits for low-rate initial production, service and industry sources close to the decision told sister publication Inside the Army.

January 12, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon and the Army have decided to procure two additional sets of the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle and one additional set of Network Integration Kits for low-rate initial production, service and industry sources close to the decision told Inside the Army today.

Both systems are part of the Army's Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team effort, a suite of “spin out” technologies from the canceled Future Combat Systems program that underwent a Defense Acquisition Board review today.

January 12, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon is expected to cancel the Class 1 Unmanned Aerial System and two varieties of unmanned ground sensors from the Army's Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team, according to sources and documents obtained by Inside the Army.

Boeing, the prime contractor for E-IBCT, was issued a stop-work order on the Class 1 UAS and UGS on Jan. 6, according to a letter sent to the company.

January 07, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Northrop Grumman is gearing up for a critical design review in mid-February for its Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aircraft, and it will talk to Indian government officials to gauge interest in the drone a few days before, according to a source familiar with the program.
January 07, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Office of Naval Research plans to slate more than $10 million in the program objective memorandum for fiscal year 2012, or about half of its money for unmanned underwater vehicle research, on developing long-lasting and reliable power sources to meet goals that an ONR official called "exceedingly ambitious."
January 07, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy is working its way toward building an autonomous Marine Corps vehicle capable of acting as a teammate with human Marines by 2023, according to an official with the Office of Naval Research.
January 07, 2011 | Inside the Navy
In September 2009, the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment announced a little-noticed award for a study on how the U.S. would "project power in a future anti-access environment." That study would "assess a prospective Navy power projection system involving conventional strike from an unmanned towed payload," according to the announcement. It was completed in about a year.
January 07, 2011 | Inside the Army

As the Army prepares for a key review of the Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team suite of technologies, a central component continues to be criticized for being too expensive and unreliable. Emerging E-IBCT test results have also led the Army to reassess its network communications priorities, according to an Army spokesman.

January 07, 2011 | Inside the Army

The Army plans to reinvest a portion of the $29 billion in efficiencies it has identified over the next five years in efforts to bolster its manned and unmanned aviation assets, according to top Defense Department officials.

January 05, 2011 | Daily News

The Navy is planning to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the EPX spy plane program with a family of systems that may include surface ships but is not likely to feature the P-8, according to the head of the service's intelligence directorate.

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