DARPA To Start Testing UGVs Under RACER Program | DoS Approved MQ-9 Pods Sale To France | China Navy Commissions New Rapid Minelaying BoatsJan 17, 2022 05:00 UTC
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will soon start testing unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) on par with human-piloted vehicles being built under the Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) program. The DARPA RACER program will develop and demonstrate autonomy technologies that enable unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to maneuver in unstructured off-road terrain at the limit of the vehicle’s mechanical systems and at, or beyond, human-driven speeds and efficiencies.
The US Space Development Agency is planning to deploy 144 transport layer satellites and 28 tracking satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO) by 2024 to detect maneuverable hypersonic glide vehicles during flight. Speaking today at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Schriever Spacepower Forum, Derek Tournear said satellites in LEO will make up the tracking layer that will be able to detect hypersonic threats by their heat signatures, eventually on a global scale.
Middle East & Africa
Dyncorp International won a §28.8 million contract modification aviation maintenance support services. Work will take place in Saudi Arabia. Estimated completion date is July 31, 2022.
A new contract has been signed between Artem State Joint-Stock Company, a subsidiary of Ukroboronprom and the Ukrainian defense ministry for the production of a large batch of unguided RS-80 air-to-air missiles. Under the current contract, the number of missiles is five times higher than the order that Artem fulfilled last year. This volume will allow to load own capacities of the enterprise and its co-executors, the company said in a release.
The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to France of MQ-9 Communications Intelligence Sensor Pod Suites and related equipment. The Government of France has requested to buy up to eight Communications Intelligence Sensor Pod Suites, that will be added to a previously implemented case. The original FMS case and amendments, valued at $71 million, included five Communications Intelligence Sensor Pod Suites, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a release.
According to Defense News, the Republic of China Navy commissioned two new rapid minelaying boats at Zuoying Naval Base in Kaohsiung city. The two boats were delivered in late 2021 but were put into active service on January 14. They will form the first and second Mine Boat Squadrons of the Navy’s 192nd Fleet (Minesweeper Fleet).
Watch: America DARPA Testing Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER)