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Unmanned Systems

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.

January 04, 2011 | Daily News

The Missile Defense Agency is looking for new ideas on how to use unmanned systems to detect ballistic missile launches.

According to a Dec. 23 Federal Business Opportunities notice, MDA is "interested in obtaining information on new concepts to support the potential development of an airborne advanced sensor to improve acquisition, tracking, and discrimination in large raid scenarios.

December 23, 2010 | Inside the Army

The Army does not foresee a significant cut in funding for unmanned aircraft systems going into the president's fiscal year 2012 budget, but UAS officials do have some concern about adequate funding to train soldiers on unmanned systems.

December 23, 2010 | Inside the Army

The Army
continues to lean heavily on aerostats for surveillance and communications
relay missions in Afghanistan, estimating that the number of deployed vehicles
will surpass the one-hundred mark within the next year, according to a service
official.

December 23, 2010 | Inside the Army

Army funding
for a joint capability technology demonstration with the Marine Corps for a
cargo unmanned aerial system has dried up, but the service remains interested
in pursuing the capability, according to Army officials.

December 23, 2010 | Inside the Army

The Army has
approved plans to create an additional 10 Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system
companies, with Pentagon approval for the effort expected to follow in the
second quarter of fiscal year 2011, according to service officials.

December 23, 2010 | Inside the Army

The Army is
on track to field a combat hybrid airship by early fiscal year 2012 now that
contractor Northrop Grumman has successfully completed a critical design review
of its Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle.

December 23, 2010 | Inside the Navy
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aircraft program is updating its award fee plan in response to a November report by the Defense Department Inspector General that faulted the program for not properly overseeing award fee provisions.

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