May 29, 2012 15:11 UTC
NanoSAR on ScanEagle
In May 2012, ImSAR, L.L.C. in Salem, UT received a $24 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to build, test, and assess a lightweight ultra wide band synthetic aperture (ground-looking) radar for use on small unmanned aerial vehicles. Work will be performed in Salem, UT, with an estimated completion date of May 31/17. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, MA (W911QY-12-D-0011).
ImSAR’s NanoSAR radar has already tested on Boeing’s popular ScanEagle UAV, and the company began offering it as an official payload option on Feb 23/10. The US Army doesn’t use ScanEagle UAVs, but they do have options like the RQ-7B Shadow that could benefit from a small radar that was light enough to add in addition to the existing surveillance turret. ImSAR can offer them an improved NanoSAR B, or their new Leonardo radar that’s well-suited to tasks like convoy overwatch and land-mine detection.
May 08, 2012 11:15 UTC
India has not been left out of the global UAV push. The country operates Israeli Searcher tactical UAVs, and Heron Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) UAVs, placing an additional Heron order in 2005. It has also undertaken development programs for a smaller UAV, the “Nishant”. With its “Rustom” program, however, India hopes to offer a UAV in the Heron/ Predator/ Watchkeeper class of MALE UAVs.
It had also hoped to begin to change a culture and tradition of wholly state-owned development of military hardware, which has not always performed well, or served India’s needs. A recent award has selected a winner, and moved the project forward. It may also serve as a reminder that bureaucracies are very difficult to change.
Continue Reading… »
May 02, 2012 14:00 UTC
Flight International reports that Finland has picked Aeronautics Defence Systems’ Orbiter 2 UAV as its future tactical UAV, beating BlueBird’s SkyLite B for a likely EUR 23 million, 55-system contract. The contract signing is expected soon, and once that happens, Finland will join its Baltic Sea neighbor Poland as an Orbiter UAV customer.
Despite their small size and weight of under 10 kg, both systems require a vehicle-towed or mounted catapult for launch, and use parachute recovery. They offer similar performance ranges just above the mini-UAV class, with endurance of around 3.5 hours, and payloads that involve just a small surveillance and laser designation turret. A slightly larger Orbiter 3 variant is available that would have doubled endurance to 7 hours, and increased control range to over 100 km, but Finland appears not to have picked it. BlueBird touted the Skylite’s high-wind, all-weather capability, while the Orbiter can extend its operating control range to 80 km using ground data terminals. In either case, Finland is picking a small UAV with limited range and capabilities, in exchange for higher numbers at relatively low cost. Given the country’s dispersed defense doctrine, it’s a choice that makes military as well as financial sense.
Apr 23, 2012 09:25 UTC
- The US Navy has published its request for information to get a replacement for FA-18E/F and EA-18G Growlers “in the 2030 timeframe”, following a mention of the tentative aircraft in the latest 30-year aviation funding plan. This is a Pre-Material Development Decision (MDD) market survey, i.e. still very far from an RFP. Once interested contractors have expressed their interest by April 26, they will receive – provided proper levels of clearance – a classified Government Furnished Information (GFI) package that is meant to allow them to submit their response by June 29, 2012.
The desired capability and missions:
Continue Reading… »
Mar 18, 2012 16:12 UTC
RQ-7 launch, Iraq
In March 2012, Textron subsidiary AAI Corp. in Hunt Valley, MD received a $180.9 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to support RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aircraft systems serving with the US military and Australia. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, MD, Afghanistan, and Australia with an estimated completion date of Oct 3/12. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL manages the contract (W58RGZ-12-C-0011).
Continue Reading… »