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Unmanned Systems

June 06, 2011 | Daily News

The Global Hawk Block 30 program, due for a full-rate production decision this month, is neither operationally effective nor operationally suitable, the Defense Department's top weapons tester has concluded in a new report.

Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Michael Gilmore, in a statutorily required assessment of the Air Force's RQ-4B, gives the Global Hawk Block 30 system -- an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform which is already being used to support overseas combat operations -- failing grades for both suitability and effectiveness.

June 03, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The family of systems that will replace the canceled EPX program will include a variety of unmanned systems that are already a part of the Navy's program of record, most of which will be fielded around 2019, according to a service document posted online in April.
June 03, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Marines may deploy both or neither of the cargo unmanned aerial systems offered by Lockheed Martin/Kaman and Boeing, although the intent is to deploy one of them, a spokesman said last week.
May 27, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Office of Naval Research is looking for a mine detection system that could be deployed on a tactical unmanned airborne vehicle and detect mines on and near the surface of the water, according to a broad agency announcement posted on Federal Business Opportunities.
May 20, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System program office is working to lighten its recovery system and tweak the heavy-fuel engine on the aircraft as it waits for the official results from its operational assessment at Yuma, AZ in February.
May 20, 2011 | Inside the Army

Lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee included a
measure in their fiscal year 2012 defense authorization report that would
require the Army to provide Congress with a detailed account of multiple legacy
systems left over from the multibillion-dollar Future Combat Systems failure as
well as the phased-out Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team effort.

May 19, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Army has temporarily halted its flights of unmanned drones that use just ground-based radars while it looks into a glitch in its self-test system, but the service is optimistic that a fix has been identified.

May 13, 2011 | Inside the Army

Army officials plan to pit two industry teams against one another as the service develops a new vertical-take-off-and-landing unmanned aerial vehicle for surveillance and transport missions, according to a program official.

May 13, 2011 | Inside the Army

Army aviation officials plan to jump on the trend of bringing commercial cell phone technology to the military battlefield, eying something akin to a "cell tower in the air" that would provide 3g or 4g cellular coverage to feed soldiers' smartphones with data.

May 13, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy has received approval from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead to receive three more Air Force Block 10 Global Hawks to supplement its two Broad Area Maritime Surveillance demonstrator unmanned aircraft, the program manager told Inside the Navy last week.
May 12, 2011 | Daily News

As it plans for shrinking budgets and drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department should review its growing surveillance technology portfolio for savings, as well as its precision munitions capabilities, according to the Army's vice chief of staff.

May 12, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn has launched a review of the Pentagon's unmanned drone programs to determine whether their requirements to operate in the national airspace are clearly defined and consistent with the department's new airspace integration plan.

May 11, 2011 | Daily News

The Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program today came under scrutiny during the House Armed Services Committee's mark-up of the fiscal year 2012 authorization bill.

The committee passed an en-bloc amendment including language introduced by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), the chairman of the seapower subcommittee, designed to limit the Navy's ability to spend research, development, test and evaluation funds on a future unmanned carrier-based strike system until the Pentagon submits a report to Congress justifying its need for the program.

May 06, 2011 | Daily News

Lawmakers are directing the Pentagon to convene a series of internal brainstorming sessions to envision possible combat uses of a massive airship with capabilities similar to an in-development demonstration air vehicle that is predicted to haul payloads weighing up to 1,000 tons and cruise at speeds as high as 100 knots.

May 06, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Boeing flew its unmanned tailless drone for the first time recently in a 17-minute flight in California that followed a series of high-speed taxi tests earlier this year, the company announced May 3.
May 06, 2011 | Inside the Army

officials have picked a Lockheed Martin-made autonomous ground vehicle for
field-testing in Afghanistan this year, government and industry officials said
late last week.

April 29, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Northrop Grumman has been flying its X-47 unmanned combat air system demonstrator drone for the Navy and Boeing is preparing to fly its X-45 drone for the first time as the companies anticipate a request for information for the follow-on Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) drone as early as late this year.
April 29, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Congress largely hewed to the Navy's budget request in its final version of the fiscal year 2011 Defense Department appropriations bill, which was signed into law on April 15, though lawmakers eliminated a research and development program for a marinized tactical unmanned aerial system, among other cuts, and added $40 million for alternative energy research.
April 28, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Despite the increasing role of unmanned drones in fast-paced military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the Pentagon still struggles to coordinate drones from different armed services on the battlefield -- but an upcoming Defense Department test will tackle that major problem.

April 28, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Army has successfully completed this week the first-ever flight of an unmanned drone in U.S. airspace without using a chase plane or visual observer of some kind.