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8 novembre 2015 7 08 /11 /novembre /2015 12:20
Flying Launch and Recovery System or FLARES – photo Insitu

Flying Launch and Recovery System or FLARES – photo Insitu

 

November 6, 2015 Robert Beckhusen – War is Boring

 

Say goodbye to the ScanEagle's 4,000-pound ground catapult

 

Here’s one way to find a new use for an old drone — stick it underneath another drone which serves as a flying mothership. Insitu, a Boeing-owned company which manufactures the tiny ScanEagle surveillance drone, recently showed off a video of a quadcopter carrying the ScanEagle into the air and launching it … like a flying aircraft carrier. The ScanEagle then heads back to its quadcopter and snags a retrieval line. The whole system, known as the Flying Launch and Recovery System or FLARES, is a drone-carrier drone.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:45
photo Insitu Inc.

photo Insitu Inc.

 

20.09.2015 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense

 

Lus dans la dernière livraison des avis de marchés du Pentagone, ces deux avis concernant des FMS (Foreign Military Sales) au Kenya et au Cameroun, dans le cadre de la lutte anti-terrorisme:

 

Kenya:
Insitu Inc., Bingen, Washington, is being awarded $9,858,274 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0010 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N68335-11-G-0009) for the procurement of one ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system consisting of analog medium wave infra-red ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles, launch and recovery equipment, ground control stations, Insitu video exploitation systems and ground support equipment for the government of Kenya under the Foreign Military Sales program. It will also procure one Mark 4 Launcher, two full mission training devices and spares kits. Work will be performed in Bingen, Washington (50 percent); and Nanyuki, Kenya (50 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2016. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $9,858,274 are being obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

 

Cameroun:
Insitu Inc., Bingen, Washington, is being awarded $9,396,512 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0009 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N68335-11-G-0009) for the procurement of one ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system for the government of Cameroon under the Foreign Military Sales program. The system consists of analog medium wave infra-red ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles, launch and recovery equipment, ground control stations, Insitu video exploitation systems and ground support equipment. Work will be performed in Bingen, Washington (50 percent); and Doula, Cameroon (50 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2016. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $9,396,512 are being obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

 

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:35
A ScanEagle is recovered at sea aboard the destroyer USS Oscar Austin - photo US Navy

A ScanEagle is recovered at sea aboard the destroyer USS Oscar Austin - photo US Navy

 

February 20, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

It's a programme the Indian Navy wants quick movement on, exasperated in many ways by how no single effort over years to give its ships a tactical deck-launched/recovered unmanned surveillance capability have delivered a result. The navy now has a stated requirement of at least 50 such UAS. And the field is open -- the navy doesn't say what kind of launch of recovery it is looking for, leaving all such details to interested contenders.

 

Boeing firm Insitu, which has had preliminary conversations about the ScanEagle with India for a few years now, continues with the pitch. Insitu's business development manager for Asia-Pacific, Kevil Giles made the following presentation at a round-table that Livefist was invited to, information presumably shared with the Indian Navy over the months as well (post continues after the PDF):

 

 

A prospective competition could include the Airbus Tanan and Textron Aerosonde as well. The Indian Navy tested the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter from the deck of patrol vessel INS Sujata in 2007, though the effort didn't yield an acquisition.

 

According to the Indian Navy's request for information from global vendors, it needs the new UAVs for "Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), sea-lanes of communication monitoring and coastal/ EEZ surveillance, anti-¬piracy and anti¬terrorism, assistance in search and rescue and assistance in maritime domain awareness."

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27 janvier 2015 2 27 /01 /janvier /2015 17:30
Iran Reinvents Cruise Missiles

 

January 27, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In December 2014 Iran held military exercises in which it claimed it had converted one of its UAVs into a “suicide drone” and successfully tested it. The story behind this story is far more interesting. This suicide drone is actually a cruise missile and is based on what Iran claims is a copy of the American ScanEagle UAV. This is a low-tech, commercially available UAV that contains no classified components. In early 2013 Iran released photos of their new production facility producing copies of ScanEagle. But Iran did not present any of the completed “Yasir” (as they called their version of ScanEagle) UAVs. Iran could have built a ScanEagle clone without copying from one they had obtained (either from a crash or the black market). The ScanEagle assembly line picture could have simply been Photoshopped, a technique Iran has been caught using numerous times. The Iranian version was said to have a range of 200 kilometers max altitude of 2,900 meters and max endurance of eight hours. By replacing the surveillance equipment and much of the fuel with explosives Iran would have a short range (a hundred kilometers or so) cruise missile with over a 10 kg (over 22 pounds) of explosives that could, in theory, hit anything within range. That is if it can get past the air defenses. Most Western air defense systems have been upgraded to detect UAVs and low flying cruise missiles.

 

Actually, defenses against cruise missiles go back over 70 years. Cruise Missiles have been around for that long. The first one appeared during World War II as the German V-1 "Buzz Bomb". The British developed a number of countermeasures. It was the Israelis that began using TV-equipped UAVs in combat during the 1980s. At the same time it was the United States that reinvented the buzz bomb as the modern cruise missile in the 1980s. A decade later the Americans borrowed from the Israelis to create their own UAVs for surveillance.

 

Yasir first appeared in December 2012 when Iran insisted it had captured a U.S. Navy ScanEagle UAV and copied it. The U.S. said none of its ScanEagles were missing. Iran then released a photo of the captured ScanEagle. But the photo showed a ScanEagle without military markings that appeared to have been reassembled after a crash. The U.S. did reveal that several ScanEagles had been lost over the last few years (due to communications or mechanical failures) in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf and the wreckage was not recovered. This is where Iran might have obtained their ScanEagle (perhaps via fishermen who haulded it in and took it to the black market). In any event, stunts like this are mainly for raising morale among Iranian civilians depressed over economic problems. It doesn’t really matter what the U.S. says or does.

 

A ScanEagle weighs 19 kg (40 pounds), has a 3.2 meter (ten foot) wingspan, and uses day and night video cameras. This makes it easier for the UAV, flying over land or water, to spot small speed boats or individual vehicles. The commercial version of ScanEagle has been in service since the 1990s to help high seas fishing ships find schools of fish to go after. Cruising speed is 110 kilometers an hour. The ScanEagle can stay in the air for up to 15 hours per flight and fly as high as 5 kilometers (16,000 feet). The aircraft carries an optical system that is stabilized to keep the cameras focused on an object while the UAV moves. The UAV can operate at least a hundred kilometers from the ground controller. The ScanEagle is launched from a catapult and landed via a wing hook that catches a rope hanging from a 16 meter (fifty foot) pole. This makes it possible to operate the UAV from the helicopter pad on the stern (rear) of a warship or any open space on a seagoing fishing ship. Each ScanEagle costs about $100,000 and is still widely used by commercial fishing, ocean survey, and research ships, as well as military organizations in several countries. ScanEagle has been in military service since 2005.

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17 juillet 2014 4 17 /07 /juillet /2014 11:45
Mali: les Hollandais ont bien déployé des drones ScanEagle


16.07.2014 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense
 

Hervé Ladsous, le Secrétaire général adjoint aux opérations de maintien de la paix de l'Onu, était à Gao, le 11 juillet. Il y a rendu visite au contingent onusien sur place. Les Hollandais lui ont présenté leurs Apaches et leurs drones ScanEagle (photo: Marco Dormino).

 

Ces drones sont mis en œuvre par le JISTARC (Joint Intelligence Target Acquisition Surveillance and Reconnaissance Commando), une unité créée en octobre 2010.

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22 décembre 2013 7 22 /12 /décembre /2013 21:45
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

December 18, 2013 By: John Ingham - express.co.uk

 

The Royal Navy [Dec. 17, 2013] launched its first drone in an operational theatre as it stepped up its campaign against Somali pirates.

 

The Scaneagle unmanned aerial system (UAS) was launched from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cardigan Bay in the Gulf and flew to a height of up to 19,500ft.

The UAS was then brought back by a pilot on the ship using remote controls after it had acted as an eye in the sky over the horizon.

The Scaneagle is one of two in a £30million deal with Boeing and each UAS will fly up to 300 hours a month.

The UAS is catapulted off the back of ships and then recovered by flying them back to be caught by a wire extended over the side. It is expected to be used shortly to spot pirates threatening shipping in the Indian Ocean.

Details emerged as Defence Secretary Philip Hammond threw open the RAF’s secret base for controversial drones – RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

RAF crews here and at the USAF base in Creech, Nevada, fly the Reaper on surveillance and attack missions over Afghanistan.

The 35ft long remotely piloted air system can unleash weapons on insurgents with the trigger being pulled thousands of miles away.

In 54,000 hours of flying over Afghanistan it has fired 459 weapons, usually Hellfire missiles in support of Coalition troops under attack from insurgents.

The drones are controversial and have been branded robot killers.

But Mr Hammond insisted that their crews are subject to the same rules of engagement and legal controls as the pilots of fighter bombers such as Tornados and Typhoons.

He said: “In well over 400 lethal strikes by British UAS’s we know of just one strike where sadly there were civilian casualties.

“But civilian casualties also result from strikes by manned aircraft. Our challenge is not to guarantee that they never happen but to minimise that risk to as low as possible.”

He added: “UAS’s are certainly part of the future. We expect they will be part of the British posture alongside manned aircraft. No-one knows what the balance will be between manned and unmanned systems.”

Mr Hammond also said there are moves to open up European air space to UAS’s with one expert predicting that the market in the UK alone could be worth up to £20billion within six years.

Mr Hammond, who said possible civilian uses include maritime search and rescue and border protection, said he expected progress in UAS’s being licensed to use European air space.

At RAF Waddington the full range of UAS’s used by the military was on display from the Army’s tiny Black Hornet mini helicopter to Watchkeeper which has a 33ft wing span.

The Black Hornet weighs just 16grammes, fits in the palm of a man’s hand and can be put up by soldiers to see what the enemy is up to in their immediate area.

Watchkeeper, which will enter service with the Royal Artillery next year, can stay airborne for 16 hours and relay information to troops on the ground day and night.

Meanwhile the Royal Navy revealed that its Scaneagle has had its first trial in an operational theatre.

royal navy, pirates, somlaia, hms cornwallDrones will help the Navy carry out more raids on pirates like this one by marines from HMS Cornwall [PA]

Commander Bow Wheaton, 46, from Dorking, said: “It was flown for the first time in theatre today and is due to enter service next month.

“Skippers get an unprecedented situation report from this eye in the sky.

“It lets us look for the enemy before they see us. It could be used to look for pirates, to spot a threat to your ship or to look ahead to a choke point where the enemy may have assembled small craft loaded with explosives. This would let you do something about it or avoid it.

“And at night it would help the skipper decide which lights out there are friendly – otherwise he is just looking at dots on a radar screen.”

The drones provide live video footage of incredible detail to commander son the ground, even letting them see what weapons the enemy are carrying.

One RAF Intelligence Analyst, who would only give his name as Corporal Billy, said: “There have been occasions when we have spotted disturbed earth which has turned out to be where insurgents have planted an improvised explosive device. Finding that is very fulfilling.

“Every time we have fired a missile we have been supporting our guys on the ground who more often than not were under fire. We are helping to save their lives which is just as fulfilling as spotting an IED.”

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Boeing Wins $300M Order for ScanEagle UAVs for Special Forces

Sept. 16, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Sept. 16, 2013)

 

Insitu Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded a $300,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for hardware and operational and maintenance services in support of the ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems operated by the U.S. Special Operations Command.

 

The hardware and services to be provided include replacement air vehicles, spare and consumable parts, and in-theatre field service representatives to supplement naval special warfare operators.

 

Work will be performed in Bingen, Wash., and is expected to be completed in September 2016. Fiscal 2013 operations and maintenance, Navy, overseas contingency operations contract funds in the amount of $85,000,000 will be obligated at the time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

 

This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1.

 

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-13-D-0016).

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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult - Picture Boeing Defence UK

The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult - Picture Boeing Defence UK

Sept. 11, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - The UK Royal Navy expects to conduct its first contractor-supported operations with the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned air system from late this year, although its timetable for the type's introduction has been affected by a lack of manpower.

 

Operations with the ScanEagle will occur under a contractor-owned and operated deal awarded to Boeing Defence UK earlier in June 2013 worth £30 million ($47 million). This will see the equipment launched from and recovered aboard some RN and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

 

Urgent operational requirement acquisitions such as the ScanEagle deal are routinely expected to see equipment enter use within six months of a contract award, but the RN process is likely to require at least nine months, says Wg Cdr Dave Postlethwaite, commander of the UK Air Warfare Centre's UAS test and evaluation squadron.

 

Speaking at a pre-DSEi UAS conference in London on 9 September, RN Lt Cdr Pete Whitehead attributed the additional time requirement to the challenge of sourcing sufficient naval personnel to support the ScanEagle's introduction. This includes the service's need to have at least one person trained to fly the type, to serve as a safety officer.

 

Around three RN staff will be required per ScanEagle detachment, with this having been reduced from an earlier objective of up to eight. "We simply can't find the people at the moment" to achieve the latter figure, Whitehead says.

 

While the contractor will be responsible for flying the UAS in support of RN operations, Postlethwaite notes: "Whoever is looking at the [camera] picture will be trained, and will be military."

 

While the UAS will be flown by a contractor-hired operator, the Ministry of Defence must issue a release to service clearance before ScanEagle operations can commence, as activities will be conducted from a military vessel.

 

"We expect the capability to start becoming available from the end of 2013 onwards," minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne said on 5 September.

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28 juin 2013 5 28 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
The ScanEagle is a maritime reconnaissance asset for gathering intelligence [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

The ScanEagle is a maritime reconnaissance asset for gathering intelligence [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

20 June 2013 Ministry of Defence

 

UK warships are to benefit from a new surveillance capability as part of a £30 million contract signed by MOD.

 

ScanEagle is a maritime reconnaissance asset that can be launched off the back of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships day or night to gather intelligence and survey the wider area of operations.

Built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing Defence UK Limited, the ScanEagle is the first maritime-specific unmanned air system capability to be delivered in support of naval operations.

It will complement the existing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets used on operations such as helicopters and long-range radar.

The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

The unarmed aircraft, which has a wingspan of just over 3 metres and weighs 22 kilograms, is launched from ships into the sky by a pneumatic catapult.

Flying at about 60 knots, it is commanded by a specialist team on board the ship who will plan the ScanEagle’s missions, control its flights and monitor and analyse the information it gathers using its state-of-the-art sensors.

At the end of its flight, the ScanEagle is recovered back to the ship.

The ScanEagle is launched from ships by a pneumatic catapult [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

The ScanEagle is launched from ships by a pneumatic catapult [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

Royal Navy Captain Ian Annett, who’s been involved with the project, said:

ScanEagle represents an important addition to the Royal Navy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. Its ability to deploy during the day and night, coupled with the technology it uses, will give commanders a clearer picture of the operational situation whenever it’s required.

A specialist team on board a ship prepares to recover the ScanEagle [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

A specialist team on board a ship prepares to recover the ScanEagle [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

ScanEagle provides the Royal Navy with proven surveillance capability that has already been used on operations by other nations, so we know we are getting top quality equipment. The technology is off-the-shelf and will be available to the Royal Navy as soon as possible.

Our continued investment in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems is essential to keeping our Armed Forces up-to-date with the latest capabilities and this will be a central part of MOD’s investment in new equipment over the next 10 years.

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25 juin 2013 2 25 /06 /juin /2013 11:50
ScanEagle UAV on its launcher in preparation for an autonomous take off from a UK warship

ScanEagle UAV on its launcher in preparation for an autonomous take off from a UK warship

24.06.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

Certains bâtiments de la Royal Navy seront bientôt équipés de drones ScanEagle, spécialement conçus pour les opérations en milieu maritime. Cette acquisition résulte d’un contrat signé récemment entre le MOD et Boeing Defence UK.

 

Les UAV fabriqués par l’industriel Insitu sont destinés aux missions de surveillance, de reconnaissance et de renseignement. Capables de rester dans les airs entre 15 et 18 heures, ces drones de trois mètres d’envergure et de 22 kilogrammes sont lancés à partir d’une catapulte pneumatique. Dotés d’une caméra infrarouge, les drones transmettent les images recueillies par le biais d’une liaison satellite.

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 11:49

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