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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 12:20
Naval Air: Reapers Go To Sea

 

October 25, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The American firm that makes the 1.1 ton Predator and 4.7 ton Reaper UAVs is developing a maritime patrol kit for the Reaper. It takes about 12 hours to install the maritime patrol kit which includes maritime search radar, sonobuoys and the ability to transmit data collected by the sonobuoy sonar back to land or airborne analysts for further processing. Also carried are Hellfire missiles that can be used against surfaced submarines or small warships. The maritime reaper would be able to fly to a spot more than 3,000 kilometers off shore, patrol the area for up to ten hours and then return. This new maritime patrol kit was developed in an effort to get a contract with the British Royal Navy to provide maritime patrol UAVs the British are seeking. This would provide a maritime patrol at less than half the cost of the larger U.S. Navy RQ-4B Triton UAV.

 

The Reaper already has some experience with maritime reconnaissance. In 2009 several MQ-9s were sent to the Seychelles (a group of 115 islands 1,500 kilometers from the east African coast) to aid in the anti-piracy patrol. This apparently was successful enough to encourage further work in this area. At the same time Israel was using a Predator size UAVs (the Heron) equipped with a synthetic aperture radar and onboard software to provide automatic detection, classification and tracking of what is down there on the waters off the Israeli coast. Human operators ashore, or on a ship or in an aircraft, are alerted if they want to double check something the software was programmed to consider suspicious. Operators used video cameras on the Heron to determine exactly what was down there. Also carried are sensors that track the sea state (how choppy it is). Israel still uses this version and has sold some to India.

 

Meanwhile the U.S. Navy has five of the 13 ton RQ-4B Triton UAVs in service since 2012. These are modified RQ-4B (Global Hawk) UAVs that began operational testing in 2010. The Triton was assigned to operating with a carrier task force at sea. Circling above the task force at 22,500 meters (70,000 feet), Triton monitored sea traffic off the Iranian coast and the Straits of Hormuz. Anything suspicious was checked out by carrier or land based aircraft, or nearby warships. The Triton aircraft can fly a 24 hour sortie every three days. The first production Triton was delivered in late 2012. In 2009, the first year of Triton testing consisted of 60 flights and over 1,000 hours in the air. The flights were over land and sea areas, even though the UAV sensors are designed mainly to perform maritime reconnaissance.

 

The Navy is buying the Tritons for over $60 million each. This version is larger (wingspan is 5 meters/15 feet larger, at 42.2 meters/131 feet, and it's nine percent longer at 15.5 meters/48 feet) than the A model and can carry more equipment. To support that, there's a new generator that produces 150 percent more electrical power. The RQ-4 has a range of over 22,000 kilometers and a cruising speed of 650 kilometers an hour.

 

The first three RQ-4Bs entered service in 2006. At 13 tons the Global Hawk is the size of a commuter airliner (like the Embraer ERJ 145) but costs nearly twice as much. Global Hawk can be equipped with much more powerful and expensive sensors, which more than double the cost of the aircraft. These "spy satellite quality" sensors (especially AESA radar) are usually worth the expense because they enable the UAV, flying at over 20,000 meters (62,000 feet), to get a sharp picture of all the territory it can see from that altitude. The B version is a lot more reliable. Early A models tended to fail and crash at the rate of once every thousand flight hours.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:50
photo WB Electronics S.A.

photo WB Electronics S.A.

 

October 28, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The British Army WH450 Watchkeeper UAV acquired weapons (Hellfire and smaller missiles) in 2015. Britain finally got Watchkeeper, its own locally made large UAV operational in late 2013 and since 2014 some have been seen in Afghanistan. This has been a long time coming because it was back in 2006 that the British began developing the Watchkeeper UAV and by 2010 got one airborne for the first time. The Watchkeeper 180 and the Watchkeeper 450 are both based on Israeli designs (the Hermes 180 and 450). The two Watchkeepers were supposed to be ready for service in 2010, but various problems delayed that until the end of 2013. The smaller 180 model was dropped and work continued on the Predator sized 450.

 

The Watchkeeper 450 is a 450 kg (992 pound) aircraft with a payload of 150 kg. It was always capable of carrying Hellfire missiles, as the Israeli Hermes 450 it is based upon is able to carry two Hellfire type missiles. Until 2015 Watchkeeper did not have a weapons capability but that changed as it became clear that armed UAVs were very useful battlefield weapons. The Watchkeeper is also designed to carry two extra fuel tanks under its wings as well as a radar in addition to the usual day/night vidcams. Each of these radar pods or fuel tanks weighs more than the 50 kg (110 pound) Hellfire missile.

 

The Watchkeeper 450 is 6.5 meters (20 feet) long and has an 11.3 meter (35 foot) wingspan. It can stay in the air for up to 20 hours per sortie and fly as high as 6,500 meters (20,000 feet). The Hermes 450 is the primary UAV for the Israeli armed forces, and twenty or more were in action each day during the 2006 war in Lebanon and even more during the 2008 and 2014 operations in Gaza. Thirty Watchkeeper 450s have already been delivered to the British Army, with a 24 more on order.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 12:30
photo IAF

photo IAF

 

27.10.2015 Tal Giladi, Zohar Boneh, Nadav Shaham & Eliyah Levitan - IAF

 

The threat of UAV’s became substantial in Operation “Protective Edge". The Air Control Division, responsible for discovering the threat and the “Patriot” Division responsible for its interception are preparing for the new threat

The "Patriot" SAM Division, a part of the Air Defense Division, responsible for protecting Israel's airspace from hostile aircraft. During Operation "Protective Edge", the "Patriot" batteries successfully intercepted two hostile UAVs that penetrated Israeli airspace.

"Following the operation, the division's focus was turned to the UAV threat", said Lieutenant Roy Dgani, "Patriot" Division Officer. "The "Patriot" system is very efficient when dealing with UAV penetration".

Following the Operation in the passing summer, the division's yearly training program was remodeled, as were the qualifications. "Specific UAV discovery training was added to the division's combat soldiers qualification", mentioned Lieutenant Dgani, "The cadets will learn how to differentiate between a friendly UAV and a hostile one, with the help of a specific system and other criteria".

When it comes to training exercises, in the past year since the division's interceptions they have doubled in number. Moreover, the cooperation with various squadrons, mostly combat squadrons has strengthened significantly and is considered an integral part of the soldiers training exercises.

"The batteries routine has changed, we have changed the procedures in order to suit the current situation and to cope with the modern threats", shared Lieutenant Dgani about the perceptual change in the division.

 

photo IAF

photo IAF

Discovery Abilities will also Improve

The Air Control Division, which is responsible for the supervision of all air traffic and specifically the supervision of aerial forces in operational activity, the management of the aerial space and assistance in its protection, is improving its readiness to cope with the changing arena.

The division has began the examination of the procurement of a new radar for the regional control units, that will be suited to face the future challenges that the Air Force will face in the next few years, with the most relevant being the UAV threat.

"The new radar will be a strategic asset to the state of Israel", declared Major Ronen, The Head of the Radar Department.

The radar will contain improved and more precise recognition and classification abilities than its predecessor (it can better differentiate civil aircraft and hostile UAVs). The ability to correct malfunctions will improve and by utilizing modern networks the efficiency of data transfer between the radars and the regional control units will improve.

"When designing the new radar, we are considering the next 20 years" said Major Ronen.

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 17:30
photo USAF

photo USAF

 

October 23, 2015 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

The US Air Force recently lost control of two armed Predator drones in separate incidents in Turkey and Iraq, a US military official said Wednesday.

 

The Predators were both carrying air-to-surface Hellfire missiles when they crashed, but these were safely recovered along with the aircraft. In the first case on October 17, a Predator crew reported a “lost link and subsequent crash while the Predator was flying southeast of Baghdad,” military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said. Local Iraqi police recovered the drone in the vicinity of Al-Kut. They returned the aircraft to US control and there were no injuries, Warren said. Then on October 19, a different Predator “crashed” in southern Turkey, Warren said. Local media have said it came down in Hatay.

 

Read more: http://www. defencetalk.com /two-armed-us-predator-drones-crash-in-iraq-turkey-65677/

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 12:35
A U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk soars through the sky during a reconnaissance mission. U.S. Air Force photo

A U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk soars through the sky during a reconnaissance mission. U.S. Air Force photo

 

Oct. 23, 2015 By Ryan Maass (UPI)

 

SEOUL -- Northrop Grumman corporate officials and industrial partners in South Korea celebrated the first unmanned aerial vehicle component parts manufactured in the country on Thursday. The company officials met during the Seoul International Aerospace Defense Exhibition (ADEX), an industrial aerospace and defense exhibition showcasing around 400 firms. Firstec and Korea Jig and Fixtures displayed component parts for the RQ-4 Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle designed for high-altitutde, long-endurance intelligence and reconnaissance operations.

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 11:55
L'armée de l'air française va-t-elle diposer de drones MALE armés?

L'armée de l'air française va-t-elle diposer de drones MALE armés?

 

27/10/2015 Par Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Interrogé par un député, le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a estimé que la "question restait posée" pour que la France se dote d'un drone MALE équipé d'un missile.


A l'image des drones américains, les Reaper français vont-ils être armés? Le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a été pour le coup très énigmatique. Mais sa réponse à une question du député Yves Fromion (Les Républicains) ouvre toutes les hypothèses. La France pourrait prochainement se doter d'un drone de surveillance et de reconnaissance MALE (Moyenne altitude, Longue Endurance) armé. Ce qui n'était pas cas jusqu'à présent. Au-delà d'un débat que la France devra avoir sur l'utilisation éventuelle de drones armés, il faudra demander l'autorisation des États-Unis, qui utilisent fréquemment cette arme contre des terroristes à l'étranger. Une utilisation qui provoque de nombreux dommages collatéraux.

Yves Fromion : Ne pourrait-on pas envisager d'armer certains des neuf drones d'observation supplémentaires qui doivent nous être livrés, ne serait-ce que pour acquérir une compétence qui sera utile lorsque le drone MALE européen sera mis en service ?

Jean-Yves Le Drian : La question reste posée. Je n'en dirai pas plus.

Pour quelles raisons la France se doterait de Reaper armés? Bien sûr pour des raisons opérationnelles mais aussi économiques. Car pour délivrer une charge dans le nord du Mali, comme l'a précisé Yves Fromion, "un avion doit effectuer deux heures de vol depuis N'Djamena". Ce qui ne serait pas le cas pour un Reaper armé, capable de lancer un missile tout de suite. La France va acquérir neuf Reaper supplémentaires pour atteindre l'objectif inscrit dans la loi de programmation militaire (LPM), a rappelé Jean-Yves Le Drian. Dans ce cadre, l'armée de l'air disposera de quatre systèmes commandant chacun trois vecteurs. Actuellement, l'armée de l'air dispose de trois Reaper, basés à Niamey au Niger.

 

Une question récurrente

Fin 2014, le délégué général pour l'armement Laurent Collet-Billon s'était interrogé lui aussi devant le Parlement. "Une question majeure demeure : le second système de drone MALE doit-il être armable ou non ? Il avait pourtant aussitôt refermer le débat : "N'ouvrons surtout pas le débat. L'important est de les obtenir vite. On verra le reste après !"

Le missilier européen MBDA a obtenu en mars 2014 son brevet pour pouvoir tirer le missile Brimstone à partir du Reaper. Selon MBDA, le Brimstone, à bord du MQ-9 Reaper, a fait la preuve qu'il pouvait "réduire les risques de dommages collatéraux" et démontrer "la létalité avec un seul tir contre des cibles évoluant à grande vitesse sur terre, mer et dans un environnement complexe". Ce qui n'est pas toujours le cas avec le missile américain Hellfire de Lockheed Martin coupable régulièrement de dommages collatéraux.

 

Eurodrone, une volonté d'aboutir

Le ministre a également abordé le programme européen, qu'il baptise Eurodrone, qui sera amené à succéder au Reaper. "Il est actuellement en phase de définition. Les discussions sont en cours, mais nos amis allemands et italiens ont la volonté politique de voir ce dossier aboutir", a-t-il expliqué aux députés. Mais il n' a pas caché que "ce sera difficile : il faut éviter que la définition ne soit trop éclatée et que ne se reproduise le scénario de l'A400M, chacun ayant ses propres préconisations. Nous devons aboutir à un seul modèle d'eurodrone MALE". Les industriels Finmeccanica (Italie), Dassault et Airbus participent à ces discussions ainsi que trois pays, la France, l'Allemagne et l'Italie.

"C'est moi qui suis à l'initiative de ce projet, a expliqué Jean-Yves Le Drian, car il me paraissait indispensable d'avoir une maîtrise technologique dans ce domaine. Nos partenaires semblent me suivre, mais nous devons exercer une grande vigilance politique. En tout cas, mon homologue allemande est tout à fait favorable au développement de ce programme".

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 08:30
A counter-measure to small drones has been developed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.

A counter-measure to small drones has been developed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.

 

Oct. 23, 2015 By Richard Tomkins (UPI

 

BEN GURION INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT , Israel, Oct. 23) -- A counter-measure system that detects, identifies and disrupts small drones has been debuted by Israel Aerospace Industries.

 

Drone Guard, displayed at an aeropace exhibition in South Korea this week, combines adapted 3-D radars, electro-optical sensors and dedicated electronic attack jamming systems and comes from IAI subsidiary Elta Systems Ltd.

 

"We have begun demonstrating these novel capabilities to potential customers, in response to this new threat (from small drones)," said Nissim Hadas, IAI executive vice president and president of Elta Systems. "We believe that in the near future every critical asset and public site will require these safety measures for protection against hostile drones."

 

Drone Guard uses 3D radars -- including Elta's ELM-2026D, ELM-2026B and ELM-2026BF -- for short, medium and long-range detection of drones, coupled with special detection and tracking algorithms. EO sensors for visual identification of the target are also used.

 

The systems' jamming systems, which can be used as a standalone system, disrupts the drone's flight and can either cause the drone to return to its point of origin or shut down and crash, IAI said.

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27 octobre 2015 2 27 /10 /octobre /2015 07:55
RPAS Europe Roadmap

RPAS Europe Roadmap

 

21 octobre 2015 Par Olivier James – Usine Nouvelle

 

Un rapport ministériel préconise de mieux encadrer l’utilisation des drones, aussi bien civils que professionnels, tout en veillant à ne pas freiner la dynamique industrielle de la filière.

 

Encadrer sans brider. C’est l’exercice d’équilibrisme que tente de respecter le Secrétariat général de la défense et de la sécurité nationale (SGDSN), dépendant du Premier ministre, dans un rapport rendu public mercredi 21 octobre. A la réglementation sur les drones civils en vigueur depuis 2012 (via deux arrêtés), jugée "lacunaire et parcellaire", le SGDSN préconise une batterie de mesures pour limiter les vols illégaux. "Nous avons veillé à protéger une filière économique dynamique et des usages en plein développement", commente-t-on au SGDSN. Une façon de rassurer les acteurs de la filière, dont le chiffre d’affaires atteindrait 50 millions d’euros en 2014 hors drones de loisirs, qui craignent un encadrement trop contraignant. Alors même que le jackpot annoncé n'est pas au rendez-vous.

Suite à la série de vols illégaux apparus dès le mois de septembre 2014, il était impossible pour les autorités de ne pas réagir. A ce jour, ont été répertoriés 79 vols illicites, dont 49 au-dessus d’installations nucléaires, neuf sur des sites militaires et six sur des installations industrielles. Le nombre croissant de ces engins, 200 000 aujourd’hui en France (dont 3000 professionnels), oblige les pouvoirs publics à réagir. Ces préconisations pourraient par la suite être mises en œuvre via une nouvelle réglementation, toujours attendue d’ici la fin de l’année, ou via une "loi drone" dont l’existence n’est pas encore actée.

Que propose ce rapport – destiné au Parlement – d’une soixantaine de pages, qui concerne les utilisateurs bien sûr, mais aussi les fabricants, opérateurs et vendeurs de drones civils ? L’obligation pour les fournisseurs d’informer, via une notice, les acquéreurs de drones, en lieu et place de ce que l’on peut trouver aujourd’hui sur le seul site de la direction générale de l'Aviation civile (DGAC). Une formation minimale sera aussi requise pour les non professionnels, à travers un tutoriel sur internet par exemple. Inutiles ces mesures pour qui veut contourner la loi ? Peut-être. "Mais en cas d’infraction, elles permettront de caractériser le délit", précise-t-on au SGDSN.

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26 octobre 2015 1 26 /10 /octobre /2015 12:55
photo Armée de Terre

photo Armée de Terre

 

18/10/2015 armée de Terre

 

L’armée de Terre fête cette année les cinquante ans de l’utilisation du drone. Un demi-siècle de pratique au cours duquel l’aéronef sans pilote a su se rendre incontournable. L’édition 2015 du forum du renseignement, organisé par l’École du renseignement de Saumur, était l’occasion pour les militaires de faire part de leur expérience sur l’utilisation de cette technologie en opération.

 

Destiné aux unités chargées du renseignement, le drone permet d’appuyer les forces terrestres en assurant des missions de surveillance, de reconnaissance ou de recueil d’information. Des caractéristiques soulignées par le lieutenant-colonel Daniel Chabbert, chef de corps du 61e régiment d’artillerie, pour qui « il n’est pas possible d’envisager une opération militaire sans drone compte tenu de l’apport de cette technologie dans les opérations actuelles ».

 

Dans le cadre de l’adaptation de ses équipements aux défis d’aujourd’hui, l’armée de Terre teste actuellement de nouveaux modèles de drones. C’est le cas par exemple du nano-drone. Tenant le creux d’une main, il sera capable de fournir au combattant une information immédiate sur son environnement proche. Le drone apparaît ainsi de plus en plus comme une capacité clé en termes de gain opérationnel et de diminution du risque.

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26 octobre 2015 1 26 /10 /octobre /2015 12:55
photo Armée de Terre

photo Armée de Terre

 

21/10/2015 Armée de Terre

 

Théâtres extrêmes, nouvelles technologies, utilisation de matériels en pleine mutation... Autant de raisons qui, aujourd’hui, conduisent à repenser en profondeur le maintien en condition opérationnelle des matériels terrestres (MCO-T). Un défi d’anticipation sur le futur que s’apprête à relever l’armée de Terre.

 

Le système de drone tactique intérimaire, exclusivement utilisé par le 61e régiment d’artillerie, nécessite une maintenance très particulière.

 

Le lieutenant Jérôme, chef de section maintenance drone au sein du régiment, revient sur les caractéristiques du matériel et de son environnement. Plongée dans les coulisses de la maintenance d’un aéronef de l’armée de Terre.

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23 octobre 2015 5 23 /10 /octobre /2015 07:50
photo Richard Seymour Thales UK

photo Richard Seymour Thales UK

 

October 23, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In October 2015 Britain finally overcame opposition by civil aviation bureaucrats and was allowed to fly military UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) in Britain. Just once. As a test. This was a major breakthrough because such restrictions in Europe have severely limited development and use of military UAVs. For example the British military has been developing Watchkeeper UAV since 2006 but has not been able to use it in Britain. This aircraft is based on the Israeli Hermes and is a 450 kg (992 pound) aircraft with a payload of 150 kg. It can also carry Hellfire missiles for support of troops in Afghanistan. This UAV is already designed to carry two extra fuel tanks under its wings. Each of these fuel tanks weighs more than the 50 kg (110 pound) Hellfire missile. The Watchkeeper is 6.5 meters (20 feet) long and has an 11.3 meter (35 foot) wingspan. It can stay in the air for up to 20 hours per sortie and fly as high as 6,500 meters (20,000 feet). The Hermes 450 is the primary UAV for the Israeli armed forces, and twenty or more were in action each day during the 2006 war in Lebanon.

 

As of late 2015 Britain had received 33 of the 54 Watchkeepers ordered but did not have any pilots for them. That’s because doubts about getting permission to fly in Britain (at least in civilian air space) caused the training program to be put on hold. But now the training is underway but it will take two years to produce 24 Watchkeeper operators and eventually a hundred will be needed to handle a force of 54 Watchkeepers. There are about half a dozen Watchkeeper operators, but these are trainers. Meanwhile Britain does have nearly a decade of experience using large UAVs (like Watchkeeper, Predator and Reaper), mainly in Afghanistan. The operators were trained in the United States initially and later in Britain. Most of the training can be done on simulators and British operators in training can practice in UAVs flying in the United States because the Predator and Reaper use a satellite link to communicate with the operator. Three Watchkeepers were sent to Afghanistan in 2014 and performed well.

 

In the United States and Western Europe air safety bureaucrats have long resisted calls to allow UAVs to be used for commercial purposes. In some European nations even military UAVs are heavily restricted from operating, even in air space controlled by the military. In other parts of the world UAVs are allowed to operate in civilian air space with no ill-effects. China has become an enthusiastic user of UAVs for monitoring pollution, crops and to do many other commercial jobs that previously were handled, at much high cost, by manned aircraft or space satellites. Israel does all that as well as flying UAVs through civilian air space just to get them where needed for some security or military situation. Israel is a small country and there’s not much choice. But the Israelis and Chinese also did the math and realized that UAVs are the real or even potential danger that American and European flight safety bureaucrats believe exists. That sort of thing does little to change the rules for UAVs in North America and Europe.

 

These policies can be expensive. In 2013 Germany cancelled plans to buy five RQ-4 UAVs, and wrote off $700 million in development costs, because they found it impossible to get permission from European Union aviation bureaucrats to operate these 14 ton UAVs in Europe. Called the Euro Hawk, this German version of the American RQ-4 was to be equipped with European electronics and serve as a long endurance recon aircraft. The problem was that European aviation authorities demanded extensive tests to ensure that the unmanned Euro Hawk could coexist with manned aircraft in European air space. It was determined that this process would cost over $800 million and there was no guarantee the UAV would be cleared to operate.

 

Flying has long been much safer than most people believed it to be. That paranoia has been extended to UAVs despite no lives lost to UAV collisions in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else. There is a potential danger with large (over 50 kg/110 pound) UAVs, as these are hefty enough to bring down manned aircraft. Yet in a decade of heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan there has been one such collision for every 250,000 UAV flight hours. In the one incident so far there was no loss of life.

 

Despite the excellent safety record for UAVs in a combat zone, the fear of collisions has led to heavy restrictions on UAV use in disaster relief operations, which the military is often called upon for overseas and inside the United States. Right now the military must receive permission from the Secretary of Defense before using UAVs off the battlefield. That’s not really an issue at the moment because most recent disasters the military got involved in there were sufficient manned aircraft to look for survivors, assess damage, and so on. But overseas that is often not the case. Moreover disaster relief experts point out that in the early hours and days after a major disaster you can’t have too many eyes in the sky.

 

The one actual UAV collision took place in 2011 when a U.S. Army RQ-7 UAV and a U.S. Air Force C-130 transport collided. The RQ-7 hit a wing of the C-130, between the two engines. The RQ-7 was destroyed, while the C-130 had the skin of the front of that wing torn open and some of the interior spars bent. One of the props on the inboard propeller was destroyed (and that engine had to be turned off). But the C-130 was able to land safely, and parts and technicians were flown in to repair the C-130 where it was.

 

An RQ-7B Shadow 200 weighs only 159 kg (350 pounds), compared to 70,000 kg for a loaded C-130, so the outcome of this collision is not surprising. Shadow is small, being 3.5 meters (11 feet) long with a wingspan of 4.1 meters (12.75 feet). Most UAVs in the air over combat zones are even smaller. Indeed over 90 percent of them are the tiny two kilogram (4.4 pounds) Raven. Witnesses in Iraq and Afghanistan have seen a few of them destroyed, or simply knocked out of the air by a passing aircraft, usually a helicopter. Raven operators suspect that many of those that were lost for unknown reasons were similarly hit or caught in the backwash of low flying aircraft. A few have been seen getting attacked by birds. There have been very few recorded collisions.

 

The small, plastic, Raven would not do much noticeable damage to an aircraft. The pilots and crew of helicopters hit by Ravens apparently don’t notice it at all. After landing ground crews may notice a new dent and wonder where it came from. The Shadow collision was understandable because the Shadow is the largest UAV that often operates at low altitude (under 300 meters) and uses military airfields to land and take off.

 

In light of all this, the U.S. Army has developed a new radar system (GBSAA or Ground-Based Sense And Avoid) to increase safety for UAVs. GBSAA is mainly a software system using existing radars to track UAVs and manned aircraft and alert UAV operators when their UAVs are too close to other aircraft (manned or unmanned). GBSAA can be expanded to use transponders (which commercial aircraft have been using for a long time) and more flexible software. But the basic idea is to insure that UAV operators are no longer “blind” to what is in the air nearby. GBSAA had its first field test a year ago and it was a success. The first GBSAA was to be deployed in 2014 and five more bases will have it by 2016.

 

GBSAA will likely be more in demand by potential civilian UAV users. Battlefields have much lower safety standards than civilian air space, what with all those artillery and mortar shells, plus the bullets and rockets. But civilian air space has a lot of small aircraft and helicopters, so UAVs are generally banned. GBSAA could change that and make battlefields safer as the UAV traffic becomes denser.

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16 octobre 2015 5 16 /10 /octobre /2015 14:30
USAF F-15C Eagles (493rd Fighter Squadron) with Turkish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons - Archives USAF

USAF F-15C Eagles (493rd Fighter Squadron) with Turkish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons - Archives USAF

 

16 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Moscou - Tous les avions de chasse russes opérant en Syrie ont regagné leur base et tous les drones russes fonctionnent normalement, a assuré vendredi l'armée russe après que la Turquie eut annoncé avoir abattu un aéronef non identifié dans son espace aérien près de la frontière syrienne.

 

Tous les avions russes en Syrie ont regagné la base aérienne de Hmeimim après avoir rempli leurs tâches militaires. Les drones russes, qui surveillent la situation en Syrie et font du renseignement, fonctionnent normalement comme prévu, a affirmé le porte-parole du ministère russe de la Défense, Igor Konachenkov, cité par l'agence officielle TASS.

 

Des chasseurs turcs ont abattu vendredi un aéronef, dont le type et la nationalité d'origine n'ont pas été immédiatement précisés, qui avait violé l'espace aérien de la Turquie près de la frontière syrienne, selon un communiqué de l'armée turque.

 

L'aéronef a été abattu par des avions de l'armée turque après avoir été mis en garde à trois reprises, a précisé l'état-major turc.

 

Un responsable turc a ensuite indiqué à l'AFP que l'engin abattu était un drone.

 

La Turquie avait affirmé la semaine dernière avoir détecté plusieurs violations de son espace aérien par des avions de combat russes provoquant des tensions entre Moscou et Ankara.

 

Le 3 octobre, des avions turcs avaient ainsi intercepté un chasseur de l'armée de l'air russe et l'avaient forcé à faire demi-tour, selon l'armée turque. Mais selon Moscou, cette incursion avait été causée par les mauvaises conditions météo.

 

La Russie mène depuis le 30 septembre des frappes aériennes contre le groupe Etat islamique (EI) et les terroristes en Syrie.

 

La Turquie, membre de l'Otan, participe de son côté à des frappes aériennes d'une coalition internationale menée par les Etats-Unis qui visent également l'EI.

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16 octobre 2015 5 16 /10 /octobre /2015 06:20
Battelle announces drone disruption system

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 14 By Richard Tomkins (UPI)

 

A device that disrupts unmanned aerial vehicles in flight has been developed by Battelle.

 

A point-and-shoot device to disrupt drones in flight has been developed by Battelle. The DroneDefender has a range of about 1,000 yards and is based on radio control frequency disruption technologies. It disrupts the unmanned aerial vehicle so that no remote action -- including detonation -- can occur in sensitive areas. "This is just the kind of tool we need to safely counter a drone threat," said Dan Stamm, a Battelle senior researcher who led the project. "The DroneDefender can help protect us from those who may wish to do us harm. It can help us in numerous settings, from the White House lawn to bases and embassies overseas; from prisons and schools to historic sites."

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16 octobre 2015 5 16 /10 /octobre /2015 06:20
A U.S. Army soldier launches a RQ-11B Raven. Photo: SPC. Joshua E. Powell, U.S. Army.

A U.S. Army soldier launches a RQ-11B Raven. Photo: SPC. Joshua E. Powell, U.S. Army.

 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 By Richard Tomkins (UPI)

 

AeroVironment is to supply RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicles to seven U.S. allies.

 

AeroVironment Inc., a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, is supplying its hand-launched RQ-11B Raven system to seven allied countries. The countries, which were not identified, are obtaining the Raven -- together with spare parts and contractor logistics services -- through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

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15 octobre 2015 4 15 /10 /octobre /2015 16:20
photo General Atomics

photo General Atomics

 

15 October, 2015 by James Drew - FG

 

Washington DC - General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has confirmed the US Army’s purchase of 19 “Improved Gray Eagle” UAVs following the service’s disclosure this week that its MQ-1C procurement has been “amended” to the extended-range version.

 

The army announced a $121 million contract modification in June for 19 General Atomics MQ-1C aircraft and the same number of “satellite communications air data terminals” for delivery in September 2018, and it appears those units are being delivered in the Improved Gray Eagle (IGE) configuration. Speaking at an army conference in Washington this week, UAS project manager Col Courtney Cote says the programme adjustment was made in July and those extended-range MQ-1Cs will be delivered to the army’s intelligence and special forces groups initially.

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15 octobre 2015 4 15 /10 /octobre /2015 16:20
photo James Drew FG

photo James Drew FG

 

15 October, 2015 by James Drew – FG

 

Washington DC  - Lockheed Martin has displayed an evolved version of its ‘Terminator’ loitering unmanned air vehicle, which it is offering for the US Army's long-running terminator Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAMS) programme.

 

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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 11:55
Le drone Asctec Falcon 8 opéré par Air Marine photo Air Marine

Le drone Asctec Falcon 8 opéré par Air Marine photo Air Marine

 

13.10.2015 par Gil Roy – Aerobuzz.fr

 

Les 14 et 15 octobre 2015, Bordeaux accueille UGS 2015 - Unmanned Global Systems - un symposium européen de tous les drones et robots. En parallèle des tables rondes, ateliers, et rendez-vous d’affaires, l’opérateur français Air Marine effectuera des démonstrations grandeur nature...

 

Depuis plus de 20 ans, Air Marine s’est fait une spécialité dans l’acquisition et exploitation de données par voie aérienne. Il y a quatre ans, elle a pris le virage des drones civils. Elle est devenue l’un des principaux opérateurs du marché. Au symposium UGS 2015, les 14 et 15 octobre 2015, à Bordeaux, elle va réaliser deux démonstrations avec le drone AscTec Falcon 8. [1] Air Marine aborde le drone avec l’état d’esprit de l’aéronautique, c’est-à-dire avec la même rigueur dans la préparation des missions et surtout la même exigence en ce qui concerne le matériel, en particulier au niveau de la redondance des systèmes dans un souci de sécurité des vols.

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13 octobre 2015 2 13 /10 /octobre /2015 16:55
Drones : et si on faisait décoller le business ?

Selon le cabinet Teal Group, le marché mondial professionnel du système autonome, tous drones confondus, qui s'élève actuellement à 6 Md€, devrait doubler d'ici à 2025.

 

12/10/2015 Par Pascal Rabiller - objectifaquitaine.latribune.fr

 

Les 14 et 15 octobre, Bordeaux et son parc des expositions accueillent la première édition d’UGS Event, un salon BtoB consacré aux systèmes autonomes, les drones volants, terrestres et marins… mais version bankable.

 

Jusque-là, à Bordeaux, et plus précisément à Mérignac, quand on parlait de salon consacré aux drones, on pensait drones volants et UAV Show (convention d'affaires biennale créée par Bordeaux Technowest en 2012. L'association recherche d'ailleurs activement un organisateur pour les éditions 2016 et 2018).

A partir de cette semaine, à Bordeaux cette fois, c'est toute la filière des systèmes autonomes, des drones aériens bien sûr, mais aussi des drones terrestres et marins, voire sous-marins qui s'expose et se montre pendant le salon UGS (Unmanned Global Systems) des 14 et 15 octobre... Qui s'expose et se montre, oui, mais pas seulement....

"En vérité, au-delà des démonstrations qui seront uniquement tournées vers des applications business des drones", explique Aymar de Blomac, dirigeant de Territoires & Co, organisateur du salon, "ce rendez vous est celui des affaires. Il s'agit du vrai premier symposium international consacré à l'entièreté de la filière des systèmes autonomes. Ce que nous avons cherché à faire, c'est réunir la totalité de la chaîne de valeur en un seul lieu. UGS 2015 doit être un véritable rendez-vous pour conclure des affaires", poursuit Aymar de Blomac.

Aujourd'hui, le marché du civil professionnel ne représente que 5 % du chiffre d'affaires mondial du drone, le marché de la sécurité pèse, lui, pour 73 % de cette activité, les 22 % restants sont générés par l'activité loisir du drone.

 

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13 octobre 2015 2 13 /10 /octobre /2015 16:30
CH-4B UAV source AeroHisto

CH-4B UAV source AeroHisto

 

October 10, 2015 AeroHisto - Aviation History

 

On Saturday morning of October 10th, 2015, Iraqi Defence Minister Mr. Khaled al-Obeidi visited al-Kut Air Base and oversaw the launch of the first official flight of Iraqi CH-4B drone that will be used against ISIS. Iraq ordered CH-4B UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to China, probably after the visit of Chinese foreign minister in February 2014. According to Aero Histo sources, the first batch was received on January 23rd, 2015. First pictures of three units were seen in March.

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 10:50
Drone - UAV (photo Armée de l'Air, Armée de Terre, Onera,Dassault Aviation)

Drone - UAV (photo Armée de l'Air, Armée de Terre, Onera,Dassault Aviation)

 

12 oct. 2015 Ministère de la Défense

 

Over the last decade, it has become an essential asset in military interventions. Now the preferred means of carrying out reconnaissance and observation, the drone is a source of fascination. As France and the UK prepare to work together to develop futuristic drones capable of carrying out strikes on the enemy, the Journal de la Défense takes a closer look at this rapidly evolving military resource.

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11 octobre 2015 7 11 /10 /octobre /2015 11:20
Student sensor operators from the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron practice tactical operations during an MQ-1 Predator super sortie simulator mission. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman BreeAnn Sachs.

Student sensor operators from the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron practice tactical operations during an MQ-1 Predator super sortie simulator mission. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman BreeAnn Sachs.

 

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., Oct. 8 (UPI)

 

The U.S. Air Force is expanding its training program for remotely piloted aircraft at the Holloman Air Force Base, including the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper, officials announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes as the U.S. Air Force reports increased demand for its remotely piloted aircraft for surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence gathering operations. The Holloman Air Force Base is set to increase its rate of student production from 603 pilots and sensor operators in fiscal year 2015, to 818 students in fiscal 2016.

"By the time we are done with this expansion, Holloman will be the largest aircrew training base in the Air Force," said Maj. Christopher, the assistant director of operations for programmed flying training in a statement.

It will take a bout 18 months for the Air Force to train and expand the unit, taking into account training new instructors and expanding student facilities. Christopher added it takes about six months to train a new instructor. Air Force officials say the expansion will help fix manning and maintenance issues with the remotely piloted aircraft. Christopher says the solution is not a quick fix for the challenges students have had, however the easier workload will be better for the RPA community.

"This seems like leadership is truly focused on a long-term sustainable fix that is going to keep the RPA community healthy as a whole and keep us there," Christopher said. "It is going to hurt for a little while because we have got a lot of work to do, but the demand is still there and we need to do our best to meet that."

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10 octobre 2015 6 10 /10 /octobre /2015 11:50
Britain to increase UAV fleet, modernize Special Forces gear


Oct 5, 2015 (UPI)

 

Britain is to replace and double its fleet of remotely piloted aircraft and modernize equipment of its Special Forces.

The investment, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron, is part of the 2015 Strategic Defense and Security Review.

"In order to equip UK intelligence agencies and British Armed forces with the capabilities they need to keep the streets of Britain safe, the prime minister has announced that the RAF will replace the existing fleet of 10 Reaper aircraft with more than 20 of the latest generation of RPAS, which will be called Protector and will carry the very latest technology," the Ministry of Defensee said.

"With a greater range and endurance, the new Protector aircraft will dramatically increase the UK's ability to identify, track, deter and ultimately counter potential threats. Combined with the increase in the size of the fleet, this will substantially enhance the UK's global intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

For its Special Force, the Ministry of Defense said, new specialist weapons and clothing will be procured to ensure that the force "remains at the cutting edge of technology, giving them a clear advantage over enemies."

Additional details of the procurement of RPAs and Special Forces equipment was not elaborated upon.

The Reaper currently used by Britain is made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Cameron, who made the announcement in a newspaper interview, gave no information on the Protector RPA, including its manufacturer.

"The duty of the UK Government is to keep our country safe and we must do more as the threats we face evolve," said Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. "We must adapt and stay ahead of our enemies.

"This investment package will enhance our ability to address these sophisticated dangers both at home and abroad, allowing us to intervene with speed and precision to protect the people of the UK and our international partners."

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10 octobre 2015 6 10 /10 /octobre /2015 11:20
Reaper Extended Range (Reaper ER) - photo General Atomics

Reaper Extended Range (Reaper ER) - photo General Atomics

 

October 8, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In September 2015 the U.S. Air Force received its first MQ-9 Reaper ER UAV. This occurred a year after the air force ordered 38 of them. Reaper ER is an upgrade of the original MQ-9 design that allows longer endurance (up to 35 hours) by carrying two fuel tanks (one under each wing) that use a new fuel management system that ensures fuel is taken from the main fuel tank and the two external tanks in such a way that the aircraft does not become unbalanced. The new version also has the engine modified so that it can generate more power on takeoff, enabling the MQ-9 to achieve heavier takeoff weight. The ER version is also getting 20 percent longer wings. Since the wings already carry fuel, this helps increase fuel and endurance to about 42 hours. The air force asked for the Reaper ER to be developed and delivered quickly which in this case was done. That was unusual in the military procurement world. Older MQ-9s can be upgraded to ER partially (by equipping a MQ-9 with the two fuel tanks and fuel management software) or completely (by installing the larger wings and new engine).

 

The original MQ-9 Reaper looked like the earlier 1.2 ton MQ-1 Predator but was larger. The 4.7 ton MQ-9 is an 11.6 meters (36 foot) long aircraft with a 21.3 meters (66 foot) wingspan. It has six hard points and can carry 682 kg (1,500 pounds) of weapons. These include Hellfire missiles (up to eight), two Sidewinder or two AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, two Maverick missiles, or two 227 kg (500 pound) smart bombs (laser or GPS guided). Max speed is 400 kilometers an hour, and max endurance was originally 15 hours. The Reaper is considered a combat aircraft, to replace F-16s or A-10s in many situations. Most of the nearly 150 Reapers built so far have been for the U.S. Air Force and since introduced in 2007 these Reapers have flown over two million hours.

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9 octobre 2015 5 09 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
Les drones loisirs sont dans le collimateur de l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne (AESA)

Les drones loisirs sont dans le collimateur de l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne (AESA)

 

09/10/2015 Par Michel Cabirol - LaTribune.fr

 

Le directeur exécutif de l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne (AESA), Patrick Ky, estime qu'il y a un sujet d'actualité avec les drones de moins de 25 kg. Il regrette le trop grand nombre d'incidents.

 

Pour l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne (AESA), il y a un sujet d'actualité drones. Et pas qu'un peu. "On regarde de très, très près ce dossier, a expliqué le directeur exécutif de l'AESA, Patrick Ky, qui était l'invité jeudi de l'Association des journalistes professionnels de l'aéronautique et de l'espace (AJPAE). On s'aperçoit qu'il y a de plus en plus de drones qui volent n'importe où, n'importe comment". Et cela énerve également les pilotes d'avions commerciaux.

 

Les incidents se multiplient

L'inquiétude semble justifiée. Car les incidents se multiplient. le 21 juillet, un drone est passé à environ cent mètres d'un appareil de la compagnie allemande Lufthansa arrivant à Varsovie en provenance de Munich, selon l'agence polonaise de la navigation aérienne. L'appareil, un Embraer 195, se trouvait à environ dix kilomètres de l'aéroport international de Varsovie Okecie, à l'altitude de 700 mètres, quand ses pilotes ont aperçu un objet volant. L'objet n'a pas perturbé cependant l'atterrissage normal de l'appareil de la Lufthansa.

Un incident similaire s'est produit l'année dernière à Cracovie. En Californie, les pompiers se sont plaints le 21 juillet de voir cinq drones gêner leurs hélicoptères dans leur combat contre un incendie. En France, depuis le début de l'année, trois vols de drones ont été signalés par des pilotes dans l'axe des pistes d'Orly et deux à Roissy, selon le porte parole de la Direction générale de l'aviation civile.

 

L'AESA va publier un début de réglementation à la fin de l'année

Ce sont les drones dans la catégorie Open (moins de 25 kg), le plus souvent des "jouets inoffensifs", qui posent le plus de problèmes. "C'est la catégorie la plus compliquée", a reconnu Patrick Ky. L'Agence souhaiterait intégrer une puce contrôlée par le système GPS dans ces drones de loisirs pour les empêcher d'entrer dans les zones à risques et de voler au-delà d'une certaine altitude. Toutefois, Patrick Ky a rappelé que l'AESA n'était pas encore compétente pour réglementer des aéronefs de moins de 150 kg. "La réglementation doit changer", a-t-il fait valoir, tout en se montrant optimiste. En outre, il s'est interrogé à voix haute pour savoir comment on pouvait s'assurer de la présence de cette puce alors que la majorité de ces drones sont fabriqués en Chine.

Après avoir lancé une consultation publique qui s'est terminée la semaine dernière (3.400 commentaires envoyés), l'AESA va publier d'ici à la fin de l'année "une opinion technique". Ce document servira de base à une future réglementation sur ce type de drones

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9 octobre 2015 5 09 /10 /octobre /2015 07:20
Credits US Army

Credits US Army

 

Oct 8, 2015 | by Caroline Rees unmannedsystemstechnology.com

 

US Army Counter-UAV TechnologyThe US Army has announced that it has successfully demonstrated its latest counter-UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology, shooting down two unmanned aircraft as part of their demonstration. Although the research project began with the objective to counter rockets, artillery and mortars, the project scope was expanded to include unmanned aerial threats.

 

“Every country has drones now, whether they are armed or not or what level of performance. This is a huge threat that has been coming up on everybody. It has kind of almost sneaked up on people, and it’s almost more important than the counter-RAM threat,” said Manfredi Luciano, project officer for the Enhanced Area Protection and Survivability, or EAPS, Army Technology Objective. The technology is being developed by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, at Picatinny Arsenal. Funding for development and testing was provided by the ARDEC Technology Office. The challenge has grown exponentially in the last decade as the world’s inventory of unmanned aircraft systems has grown from approximately 20 system types and 800 aircraft in 1999, to more than 200 system types and approximately 10,000 unmanned aircraft in 2010, according to Nancy Elliott, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Army’s Fires Center of Excellence on Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

 

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