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8 octobre 2015 4 08 /10 /octobre /2015 07:50
A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI)

 

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles to Spain's military, the department announced on Wednesday.

The sale covers four MQ-9 Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft, and an additional 20 Embedded Global Position System/Inertial Guidance Units, two Mobile Ground Control Stations, five Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems, and five Synthetic Aperture Radar units. The total sale has an estimated cost of $243 million. The MQ-9 Reaper was manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and is currently in service with the U.S. Air Force. The unmanned craft is typically armed with a combination of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).

 

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8 octobre 2015 4 08 /10 /octobre /2015 07:40
Russie: un superordinateur capable de guider 10 drones

 

06.10.2015 sputniknews.com

 

Les ingénieurs russes ont conçu un superordinateur mobile destiné à commander des drones et des robots terrestres.

 

Le nouveau système informatique constituera le "cerveau" d'un module de commande de drones, a annoncé lundi à l'agence Sputnik un porte-parole du concepteur du module, le Consortium unifié de construction d'instruments de précision (OPK).

 

Baptisé Vologda, le module de commande est monté sur un châssis de tout-terrain et possède une autonomie de fonctionnement allant jusqu'à sept jours. Equipé de cinq postes d'opération, le Vologda est en mesure de contrôler simultanément jusqu'à 10 drones et robots terrestres.

 

"Afin de pouvoir traiter à bord du véhicule des flux importants d'informations, notamment des vidéos fournies par des drones, nos spécialistes ont développé un superordinateur mobile dont la vitesse atteint plusieurs dizaines de téraflops. La vitesse d'un ordinateur classique étant de 0,4 téraflop, celle du serveur mobile est 30 fois plus élevée", a déclaré l'interlocuteur de l'agence lors de l'exposition Journée des innovations du ministère de la Défense-2015.

 

Le Vologda est en mesure de traiter les informations provenant des drones de reconnaissance et de les transmettre sur n'importe quelle distance aux postes de commandement ou groupes de combat via des canaux de communication par satellite. Le nouveau module de commande est en mesure de guider différents types de drones fournis par différents fabricants. Il est opérationnel à la fois en marche et en stationnement.

 

Le superordinateur peut utiliser différents processeurs, y compris les processeurs russes Elbrous caractérisés par un haut degré de protection de l'information.

 

"Ce n'est pas un serveur comme les autres: il n'est pas refroidi par l'air comme c'est le cas des serveurs traditionnels, mais par un liquide. Il s'agit d'un liquide spécialement conçu et breveté à base de silicone. Les risques d'étincellement et de court-circuit sont exclus", a indiqué le responsable d'OPK.

 

Selon lui, le liquide de refroidissement gèle à la température de —80°C, ce qui permet d'utiliser le serveur en Arctique. Il entre en ébullition à +200°C.

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7 octobre 2015 3 07 /10 /octobre /2015 16:45
Desert Wolf adding grenades to Skunk riot control UAV

A Desert Wolf Skunk UAV.

 

07 October 2015 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

 

Local surveillance company Desert Wolf is adding grenades to its Skunk riot control unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is currently being manufactured with four paintball markers.

 

Hennie Kieser, Director of Desert Wolf, told defenceWeb that the non-lethal grenades are being supplied by a company in South America and will be available in a number of different formats, including smoke, flash-bang, tear gas etc. Up to 48 grenades can be carried by the upgraded Skunk GL UAV.

 

The grenades will be dropped over crowds and descend via parachute, minimising collateral damage on the ground and allowing the smoke to spread from above.

 

The South American company commissioned development of the grenade version of the Skunk, which will be marketed jointly by both it and Desert Wolf.

 

Kieser said he expected test flights and customer acceptance of the grenade version by the end of December. Photos and videos of the Skunk GL will be made available in the next 6-8 weeks.

 

Desert Wolf is currently manufacturing its Skunk UAV in Europe. This version is fitted with four paintball markers able to fire a variety of different rounds, from hard plastic to pepper spray. Manufacturing is underway for seven different customers, which have ordered some 400 airframes. Two batches of aircraft have already been shipped and pilots trained. These seven orders should be completed by year-end, Kieser said.

 

The skunk riot control UAV is being developed into a whole family that can be used for a variety of duties, such as search and rescue, surveillance, LIDAR scanning and lifeguard.

 

The Skunk multirotor, armed with four paintball markers, cameras and a loudhailer, was unveiled at the IFSEC security exhibition in Johannesburg in May last year, where it generated a considerable amount of interest both locally and abroad.

 

The Skunk has evolved into the Skunk II. It features two high definition colour cameras, a thermal camera for night operations, spot/strobe lights, eye-safe pulsating lasers, speakers, police sirens and flashing blue lights and four paintball markers.

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6 octobre 2015 2 06 /10 /octobre /2015 07:55
Parrot Airinov drone

Parrot Airinov drone

 

05 octobre 2015 par  Jacques Marouani - electroniques.biz

 

Le marché des drones se consolide peu à peu avec notamment le français Parrot qui a beaucoup investi dans ce domaine.

 

Au fur et à mesure que de nouvelles applications sont trouvées pour les drones civils, le marché se recompose peu à peu. Après avoir été vendue au groupe Viva Santé, celui-ci a vendu 90% des parts de Fly'n'Sens à Delta Drone. Ce rapprochement résulte du constat de nombreuses synergies existant entre les deux entités. Ainsi Fly'n'Sens apporte au nouvel ensemble son positionnement reconnu dans le secteur de la prévention et la surveillance des incendies de forêts, ainsi que dans le domaine de la viticulture.

 

Quant à Parrot, il a investi 1,6 million d’euros dans Airinov, société leader du drone au service de l’agriculture, en février 2014, et en juillet dernier, il a augmenté sa participation et détient désormais 53.1% des parts de l’entreprise, portant le montant total dédié à Airinov à plus de 9 millions d’euros.

 

Ce partenariat stratégique et économique est parti pour durer. Airinov souhaite notamment renforcer ses liens avec les autres sociétés du groupe (senseFLy et pix4D), afin de permettre au groupe Parrot d’asseoir sa position de leader mondial du drone civil.

 

En effet, Parrot a pris 51% du capital de l’Américain MicaSense, un spécialiste des drones pour l’agriculture de précision, et 45% du capital de l'Américain Iconem, spécialisé dans la conservation numérique des sites archéologiques.

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4 octobre 2015 7 04 /10 /octobre /2015 11:45
A Scan Eagle UAV

A Scan Eagle UAV

 

02 October 2015 by defenceWeb

 

Five African countries will receive 62 armoured personnel carriers manufactured by Mack Defense of the United States under a contract awarded by the United States Army in support of US Africa Command, while another six countries will receive Oskosh military trucks and two will receive Scan Eagle UAVs.

 

The US Department of Defence announced the armoured vehicle contract on 25 September, which will see Mack Defense of Allentown, Pennsylvania, supplying the vehicles to Cameroon, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tunisia and Uganda.

 

The firm fixed-price foreign military sales contract is worth $24 974 528 and covers armoured personnel carriers in both left-hand and right-hand drive as well as common spare parts.

 

Work will be performed in France with an estimated completion date of 30 December 2016. Bids were solicited via the Internet with seven received. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.

 

In July the United States Army announced it would seek between 19 and 400 new armoured personnel carriers for the US military’s Africa Command. The presolicitation notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website, stated that the vehicles should be 2015 or later year models and have a minimum seating capacity for ten passengers. They should also have B7 360-degree ballistic protection (against armour piercing 7.62 mm rounds), 4x4 drivetrain with a V-hull chassis design, manual transmission, mechanically-controlled, high-sulphur (5,000 ppm) diesel engine in both left-hand drive and right-hand drive and operator manuals in English and French or Arabic.

 

The estimated three-year combined vehicle quantities in year one are 155, year two 125, and year three 120.

 

Also on 25 September the US Department of Defense announced it had awarded Oshkosh Defense LLC a $21 774 963 modification to an existing foreign military sales contract for Djibouti, Jordan, Kenya, Tunisia, Uganda and Ethiopia for an additional 84 Medium Tactical Vehicle trucks and 59 B-kits (supplemental armour).

 

The estimated completion date of the truck contract is 28 February 2017.

 

Oskosh offers its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles in a variety of configurations, such as five ton tractor, 8.8 ton Load Handling System, 4x4 and 6x6 cargo, ten ton dump truck and five ton wrecker.

 

One of the other contracts awarded late last month include the delivery of one Insitu Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system (comprising multiple aircraft) to Kenya and another to Cameroon. In-country work will be carried out in Nanyuki in central Kenya and the Cameroonian port city of Doula. Both contracts are expected to be completed by September 2016.

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4 octobre 2015 7 04 /10 /octobre /2015 11:20
Un drone RQ-4 Global Hawk, de Northop Grumman (Photo: Archives/US Air Force)

Un drone RQ-4 Global Hawk, de Northop Grumman (Photo: Archives/US Air Force)


02.10.2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)
 

Le marché des drones militaires et de sécurité devrait presque doubler d’ici 2024 et dépasser les 10 milliards de dollars, selon une étude de IHS-Jane’s publiée vendredi.

 

«Le marché global de défense et de sécurité pour les UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, NDLR], également connus sous le nom de  »drones », va croître de 5,5 % par an au cours de la décennie, pour passer de 6,4 milliards de dollars actuellement à 10,4 milliards d’ici 2024», selon cette étude.

Les drones sont là pour longtemps, déclare Derrick Maple, analyste spécialiste des drones à la publication spécialisée Jane’s.

«Ces systèmes sont bien établis, éprouvés au combat et sont un élément essentiel et en développement pour les futures opérations autour de la planète», a-t-il ajouté.

Selon la Jane’s, les États-Unis vont reprendre leur place de leader du marché à l’export cette année, devant Israël qui s’y était hissé en 2014. À eux deux, les deux pays représentaient 71 % des exportations en 2014.

En 2015, les États-Unis devraient représenter 57 % des exportations de drones et les deux tiers au cours des cinq prochaines années.

«Cette année et dans un futur prévisible, la prévision est que les États-Unis vont reprendre une position significative de leader» avec les ventes du Predator de General Atomics ou du Global Hawk de Northrop Grumman.

L’industrie du drone en Europe occidentale, dont les ventes devraient s’établir à 1,3 milliard de dollars d’ici 2024, continue d’augmenter ses capacités dans l’objectif d’établir une base solide et de réduire sa dépendance aux drones américains et israéliens.

D’autres, comme la Chine, la Russie, l’Inde, la Corée du Sud ou le Japon, augmentent leurs investissements et leurs ventes devraient atteindre les 3,4 milliards de dollars d’ici 2024.

Selon Huw Williams, de la Jane’s International Defence Review, les drones «ont fait la preuve de leur utilité au cours de la décennie écoulée, principalement en Afghanistan.»

«Les opérateurs tendent à présent à étendre les types de missions au-delà de la surveillance et la reconnaissance, et introduisent des systèmes d’armes électroniques et de renseignement sophistiqués, ainsi qu’une variété plus large de munitions», ajoute-t-il.

«Avec la maturation des technologies, nous allons voir des drones de combat [Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, UCAV, NDLR] entrer en service», avec des capacités furtives, d’emport et d’armement améliorées.

«Ils opèreront aux côtés d’avions pilotés et pourront même les remplacer dans de nombreuses tâches», a-t-il relevé, en estimant que ce type d’opération avec des aéronefs pilotés à bord aux côtés de drones seront de plus en plus cruciales et nécessaires.

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4 octobre 2015 7 04 /10 /octobre /2015 07:55
Les drones-gendarmes, c’est vraiment pour demain ?

 

02.10.2015 par Jean-Michel Normand - La foire du drone

 

Evoquée par les pouvoirs publics lors du Comité interministériel de sécurité routière du 2 octobre, la mise en service de drones-radars a créé une certaine surprise. Cette hypothèse n'est pas nouvelle mais, si l'on en croit le ministère de l'intérieur, elle pourrait prendre corps. Des expérimentations vont avoir lieu dans les prochains mois.

 

Du bluff ou pas ?
Il y a deux façons de jauger l'importance à accorder au projet de drones-gendarmes. La première consiste à n'y voir qu'un élément de la guerre psychologique que le gouvernement entend mener en évoquant le recours à un nouvel outil anti-délinquance routière, nimbé d'un halo de mystère et d'aura technologique. Le caractère très lapidaire de l'annonce d'une « expérimentation » prochaine, ajoutent les sceptiques, suggère que le projet est encore loin de pouvoir se concrétiser au plan opérationnel. Il y a un an, le ministère de l'intérieur avait déjà évoqué la mise à contribution de drones. Il était même plus précis, évoquant la mise en fonction progressive de 10 000 drones-radars à partir de fin 2016. L'autre réaction se base sur les applications actuelles de drones civils (dans les domaines de l'agriculture, des travaux publics ou de la surveillance des voies ferrées, par exemple) pour considérer qu'il est tout à fait envisageable de faire voler des drones pour surveiller le trafic automobile. L'épée de Damoclès serait d'autant plus réelle que police et gendarmerie ont, ces derniers temps, une tendance grandissantes à recourir à des drones dans le cadre de leurs autres missions. Il semble que cette dernière hypothèse soit la plus crédible

 

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1 octobre 2015 4 01 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
A 147th Reconnaissance Wing MQ-1B Predator is parked at Lielvārde Air Base, Latvia, Aug. 31, 2015..jpg

A 147th Reconnaissance Wing MQ-1B Predator is parked at Lielvārde Air Base, Latvia, Aug. 31, 2015..jpg


1 oct. 2015 by NATO

 

Old-school A-10 Warthog ground attack planes and ultra-modern Predator remotely piloted aircraft vie for airspace at Lielvarde airbase in central Latvia.Latvia.

Officials, military personnel and Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis converged on the newly renovated facility to view the Predator in action on its first-ever U.S. deployment in Europe.

 

Note RP Defense : Read US shows off drones at Latvia's Lielvarde airbase

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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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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:35
UCAV Burraq launching the laser-guided missile Burq

UCAV Burraq launching the laser-guided missile Burq

 

September 27, 2015: Strategy Page

 

On September 7th a Pakistani UAV used laser guided missiles to kill three Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan. This was a first for Pakistan. While Pakistan has officially condemned and opposed similar strikes by American UAVs in North Waziristan, it never banned the American use of armed UAVs in certain parts of Pakistan. The U.S. refused to sell Pakistan UAVs that could carry laser guided missiles, mainly because the Americans don’t trust Pakistan. So Pakistan went looking for other suppliers and eventually bought a similar UAV (the CH-2) from China in 2009. Pakistan was soon producing a local version, Burraq. The earliest CH-2 models were unarmed, but the latest version (CH-3A) can carry a max payload of 180 kg for six hours. China supplies two missiles similar to the American Hellfire. One of these, the laser guided AR-1, weighs 45 kg and has a range of 8,000 meters. This is said to be the one Pakistan is using.

 

Pakistan apparently won’t stop with the Burraq. There is a more advanced armed UAV being offer by China. Called the Wing Loong (that's Chinese for Pterodactyl, a Jurassic period flying dinosaur) this UAV which can be equipped to carry two BA-7 laser guided missiles (similar to the Hellfire) or two 60 kg (110 pound) GPS guided bombs (similar to the U.S. SDB). This UAV has been around for a while but it has taken time to get it working reliably when used to hit targets with laser guided missiles.   Since 2008 Chinese aircraft manufacturer (AVIC) has been showing off photos and videos of a prototype for a clone of the American MQ-1 Predator UAV that tuned out to be Wing Loong. This in 2012 one was seen in flight, over the capital of Uzbekistan, which, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) were the first export customers. It was later revealed that development on Wing Loong began in 2005, first flight was in 2007 and Chinese troops got the first ones in 2008 for testing under more realistic conditions.

 

While Wing Loong is similar in shape to the larger American MQ-9 Reaper, in size it's almost identical to the 1.2 ton Predator. Wing Loong weighs 1.1 tons, has a 14 meter (46 feet) wingspan, and is 9 meters (28 feet) long. It has max altitude of 5,300 meters (16,400 feet) and an endurance of over 20 hours. Payload is 200 kg. The base price of Wing Loong is about a million dollars. But additional sensors and fire control equipment for one able to use laser guided missiles increases that to several million dollars. That is still about half the price of a similarly equipped Predator. Unlike the United States, which restricts the sale of armed UAVS, China will sell to anyone who can pay, no questions asked. The only problem Pakistan has is a shortage of cash. That’s why Pakistan cooperates at all with the United States; billions of dollars in military aid.

 

For several decades a growing number of Chinese commercial firms have been developing military UAVs. China is quite proud of its thriving commercial UAV industry, which produced a wide range of models. For example in mid-2014 China announced that a civilian UAV, used for mapping and land use surveys, recently stayed in the air for 30 hours, setting a record for Chinese UAVs. The previous record for Chinese UAVs was 16 hours.  This long endurance UAV was developed by a government agency (CASM, or Chinese Academy of Surveying & Mapping) and has limited military use. CASM has developed several small UAVs for survey duties. These UAVs all feature lightweight materials and tend to be under 50 kg (110 pounds) with small payloads (usually 5 kg/11 pounds). These take advantage of new lightweight and powerful cameras to economically monitor Chinese farming and natural resources. Some of these UAVs are also believed to be used by the police and security services.  Export customers are welcome.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:35
A drone found crashed in South Korea (Photo: Korean Ministry of Defense)

A drone found crashed in South Korea (Photo: Korean Ministry of Defense)

 

September 29, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The growing availability of small, inexpensive UAVs that can (and are) used by criminals and Islamic terrorists has led to the development of several Anti-UAV Defense Systems (AUDS). These systems consist of multiple sensors (visual, heat, radar) to detect the small UAVs and a focused radio signal jammer to cut the UAV off from its controller and prevent (in most cases) the UAV from completing its mission. The detection range of AUDS is usually 10 kilometers or more and jamming range varies from a few kilometers to about eight.

 

AUDS can be defeated. For example a user can send a small UAV off on a pre-programmed mission. This can be to take photos or deliver a small explosive. No one has tried, at least successfully, using armed micro-UAVs yet but North Korea has been caught using small recon UAVs flying under automatic control.

 

If these UAVs are still detected they have to be destroyed via ground or air-to-air fire. This the South Koreans and Israelis have had to do several times. The Israelis were dealing with Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups using small UAVs, often Iranian models. South Korea and Israel has responded by adding more sensor systems, especially new radars that can detect the smallest UAVs moving at any speed and altitude. An American firm has demonstrated a high-powered laser that can take down small UAVs several kilometers away.

 

North Korea had been interested in UAVs since the 1970s but had never bought or built a lot of them. In the late 1980s North Korea acquired some of China’s first generation UAVs (ASN-104s). These were 140 kg (304 pound) aircraft with a 30 kg (66 pound) payload and endurance of two hours. Very crude by today’s standards but it took real time video and higher resolution still photos. In the 1990s the North Koreans produced some ASN-104s, apparently by just copying the Chinese ones they had. In the 1990s North Korea got some Russian DR-3 jet powered UAVs. These were faster but less useful than the ASN-104s. Attempts to use the DR-3 as the basis for a cruise missile design failed. In the 1990s North Korea also got some Russian Pchela-1T UAVs. These were very similar to the ASN-104s and that means not very useful at all. The Chinese and Russians used these first generation UAVs mainly for correcting artillery fire and this is what North Korea was seen doing with them, particularly North Korean coastal artillery.

 

In 2014 South Korea was alarmed to discover three North Korean UAVs that had crashed in South Korea. It was soon discovered that North Korea was using modified versions of the commercial Chinese SKY-09P UAV. North Korea gave the SKY-09Ps a new paint job (to make it harder to spot), a muffler (to make it less detectable) and installed a different camera. The SKY-09P was used via its robotic mode, where the SKY-09P flew to pre-programmed GPS coordinates, taking digital photos over selected areas and returned with those photos stored on a memory card. The SKY-09Ps found in South Korea had GPS coordinates in their guidance system showing they originated and were to return to a location in North Korea. The memory cards showed pictures of South Korean government (mainly military) facilities.

 

Thus the most successful UAV the North Koreans ever used turned out to be a Chinese commercial model, the SKY-09P. This is a 12 kg (26 pound) delta wing aircraft with a wingspan of 1.92 meters (6.25 feet), propeller in the front and a payload of three kg (6.6 pounds). It is launched via a catapult and lands via a parachute. Endurance is 90 minutes and cruising speed is 90 kilometers an hour. When controlled from the ground it can go no farther than 40 kilometers from the controller. But when placed on automatic it can go about 60 kilometers into South Korea and return with photos. These things cost the North Koreans a few thousand dollars each. While South Korea says they detected two of the three crashed North Korea UAVs no other details were provided. The Chinese manufacturer denied selling anything to North Korea, but the North Koreans typically use a third party for purchases like this.  

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21 septembre 2015 1 21 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
MQ-4C Triton photo US Navy

MQ-4C Triton photo US Navy

 

15 September, 2015 BY: Beth Stevenson - FG

 

London - Ahead of the release of the UK’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) next month, Northrop Grumman remains hopeful that the nation’s maritime patrol capability gap can be filled with its MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned air vehicle.

 

This is not the first time that Northrop has expressed interest in the UK as a customer for the Triton, and it is eagerly awaiting the review in the expectation that it will address the shortfall in maritime surveillance. “SDSR is ongoing and we’re watching that very closely. We’re hoping that they’ll get a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) out of it,” says Drew Flood, Triton programme executive for Europe at Northrop. The UK appears to favour the acquisition of the manned Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft, and Northrop hopes that it will follow the lead of the US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force in supplementing that platform with the MQ-4C.

 

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21 septembre 2015 1 21 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
Giraffe AMB - photo Saab

Giraffe AMB - photo Saab

 

Sept 15, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Saab AB; issued Sept 14, 2015)

 

Defence and security company Saab has demonstrated and proven an improved capability for its Giraffe AMB radar to detect low, slow and small targets. This ‘Enhanced Low, Slow and Small’ (ELSS) function allows the Giraffe AMB to undertake dedicated counter-Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) operations, while conducting its full suite of regular air surveillance functions.

 

The new ELSS function was demonstrated in April during a UK-government sponsored trial to test and evaluate radar performance against demanding air targets in a complex environment. Known as ‘Bristow 15’ and conducted over the ranges at West Freugh, in Scotland, the trial is thought to be the only one of its kind held outside the USA.

 

Over six days more than 100 UAS sorties were flown against the radar, in multiple launches of up to six vehicles at a time. The Giraffe AMB showed unparalleled performance against low, slow and small airborne targets. Despite hundreds of birds and a demanding background of sea and ground clutter, the Giraffe AMB consistently detected, classified and tracked low, slow and small UAS vehicles flying increasingly complex tactical profiles. At the same time, the Giraffe AMB provided full, conventional air surveillance in its regular modes.

 

“Saab now offers ELSS as part of the Giraffe capability range. This gives a unique performance range from small slow UAVs, to rockets and mortars, to more traditional air targets, but all at the same time,” says Anders Linder, head of business unit Surface Radar Solutions, Saab.

 

With remarkable accuracy the ELSS function automatically finds and classifies low, slow and small targets; as slow and small as the quadcopter UAS vehicles typically flown by hobbyists. During the Bristow 15 trials, targets had a radar cross section as small as 0.001 sq metres. Saab’s ELSS function pushes the boundaries of small target detection, combines that with the latest in tracking technology and novel target classification techniques and wraps it up with a newly- designed, purpose-built human machine interface concept.

 

Although it was demonstrated on this occasion with the Giraffe AMB, the ELSS function can now be implemented on all Saab Giraffe radars. This means the Giraffe family of radars uniquely provides a simultaneous capability to detect and classify all kinds of air vehicles from ballistic missiles to the very small UAS.

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21 septembre 2015 1 21 /09 /septembre /2015 07:20
MQ-9 Reaper-ER photo General Atomics

MQ-9 Reaper-ER photo General Atomics

 

AFA AIR & SPACE, WASHINGTON – 15 September 2015General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc

 

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, today announced that its Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper® Extended Range (Reaper ER) RPA fleet has achieved a historic milestone with the first operational fielding of Reaper ER by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) last month.

“Reaper ER provides a tremendous capability increase in both range and endurance, and achieving this major program milestone wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and commitment of our employees,” said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “We are pleased that the Reaper ER program has met the expectations of our Air Force customer and satisfied the enormous challenge of their Quick Reaction Capability [QRC] schedule requirement.”

A Reaper can be transformed into a Reaper ER through the integration of a field-retrofittable modification package consisting of two wing-mounted fuel tanks which significantly extend the aircraft’s maximum endurance. Reaper’s original external payload carriage configuration remains unchanged, providing the aircraft with a “mix and match” capability that allows it to carry both fuel tanks and an assortment of external payloads. To increase thrust and improve takeoff performance at higher gross weights, an alcohol/water injection system and a four-bladed propeller were incorporated, along with a heavyweight trailing arm landing gear system that enables safe ground operations at the heavier gross weight.

The Reaper ER program was a QRC requirement in support of USAF which challenged GA-ASI to deliver 38 Reaper ER aircraft in 13 months, and to be operational 18 months following contract award. The ER modification package was designed to be field-retrofittable so that fuel tanks and associated equipment could be installed quickly and conveniently on current Reapers at worldwide locations.

In related news, GA-ASI announced that Reaper ER has earned the company an honor from Aviation Week, with the company being named as a finalist for the 2015 Program Excellence Awards in the category of System. Reaper ER was selected for GA-ASI’s efforts to introduce unique and innovative changes to standard production programs in the execution of the aircraft’s production, including an innovative approach to leading and managing a QRC that implemented a disciplined production environment to meet a very challenging schedule. The company also was recognized for partnering with the U.S. Government to streamline the production line and adjust tools and processes to improve the execution of the program.

“This year’s Program Excellence submissions provided a wealth of lessons learned and best practices, from driving down cycle time and affecting the learning curve to process innovations that allow program teams to work smarter and achieve better results,” said Carole Hedden, Program Excellence editorial director for Aviation Week. “Our evaluation team of program experts narrowed the field from 72 original nominations to a field of 23 finalists who exemplified the best in creating value, adapting to complexity, team effectiveness, and producing results.”

The winners of the Program Excellence Awards will be announced November 4 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

High-resolution photos of Reaper ER are available to qualified media outlets from the GA-ASI media contact listed below.  

 

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft systems, radar, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems business unit is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, including Predator A, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Gray Eagle, the new Predator C Avenger®, and Predator XP. It also manufactures a variety of state-of-the-art digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. The Mission Systems business unit designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. It also focuses on providing integrated sensor payloads and software for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft platforms and develops high energy lasers, electro-optic sensors, and meta-material antennas. For more information, please visit www.ga-asi.com.

Predator, Reaper, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

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20 septembre 2015 7 20 /09 /septembre /2015 16:20
MQ-9 Reaper-ER photo General Atomics

MQ-9 Reaper-ER photo General Atomics

 

20.09.2015 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense
 

Le 15 septembre, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems a annoncé le premier déploiement opérationnel de son Reaper Extended Range (Reaper ER). Un appareil qui peut rester en vol pendant 33 heures au lieu des 27 heures actuelles.

L'USAF avait exprimé en 2013 le besoin de drones armés ou de surveillance aux capacités accrues. 38 appareils doivent être modifiés

Selon General Atomics (lire ici), le kit comprend deux bidons sous les ailes et une nouvelle hélice à quatre pales. Les capacités d'emport (armement et équipement ISR) restent inchangées. 

Selon Defense Updates, GA-ASI cherche aussi à améliorer les performances des appareils dédiés à l'ISR dont l'autonomie pourrait être portée à 42 heures, en remplaçant les ailes actuelles de 20m par des ailes de 24m.

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17 septembre 2015 4 17 /09 /septembre /2015 16:50
photo Richard Seymour_Thales

photo Richard Seymour_Thales


16.09.2015 Thales Group
 

Le nouveau système de drone modulaire Watchkeeper X de Thales reflète le besoin croissant de capacités performantes de renseignement, de surveillance, d'acquisition d’objectifs et de reconnaissance (ISTAR), aux derniers standards militaires, pour des marchés élargis. Offrant différentes options d’adaptation aux exigences opérationnelles spécifiques, sa polyvalence en fait un système idéal pour assurer des fonctions ISTAR dans un large éventail d’opérations aériennes, terrestres et navales.  Il offre également des capacités de réaction rapide pour déjouer différents types de menaces. Le Watchkeeper X sera produit en partenariat, dans le cadre d’une collaboration avec les industriels locaux.  Cette approche originale en matière de drones permet aux clients d’établir une véritable souveraineté nationale.

 

Au cœur du Watchkeeper X se trouve un système de drone certifié, très performant et éprouvé au combat. S’appuyant sur cette base, Thales offre désormais différentes options en matière de capteurs, d’exploitation, de mobilité et d’effecteurs, pouvant être intégrées, mises à niveau et adaptées pour disposer de capacités modulaires et évolutives, propres à répondre aux besoins actuels et futurs.  

L’option capteurs s’appuie sur une configuration avec double charge utile offrant caméras, radars, capacités de surveillance électronique, et une exploitation simultanée entièrement intégrée. L’option mobilité permet de disposer d’un éventail de solutions pour assurer des opérations à partir d’une infrastructure fixe, ou dans le cadre de déploiements ou de forces expéditionnaires de grande ampleur. L’option exploitation tire profit de l’expérience de Thales en matière de gestion et de diffusion des données pour fournir des outils tels que des liaisons de données afin de diffuser des informations adaptées n’importe où dans le monde, de les protéger et les exploiter avec une efficacité maximale. Enfin, l’option effecteurs fournit les capacités nécessaires pour délivrer les effets nécessaires, directement ou indirectement.

Fort de ses avantages en termes de déploiement rapide, d’autonomie, de modularité des charges utiles et de frappes de précision, le système Watchkeeper X répond au besoin croissant de capacités ISTAR. Construit selon les mêmes normes que les aéronefs pilotés, ce drone peut être transporté aisément et sa conception modulaire lui permet d’être adapté à des exigences opérationnelles spécifiques. Pouvant intégrer à tout moment les apports technologiques les plus récents, ce système  offre la souplesse requise pour évoluer en fonction des priorités stratégiques.

« Le Watchkeeper X est basé sur un système de drone innovant, unique dans le monde, conçu spécifiquement pour les besoins des forces britanniques. Il n’existe rien d’équivalent sur le marché mondial actuel. Les connaissances et l’expertise acquises  au cours de ce programme nous permettent d’offrir à nos clients un système disposant d’encore plus de souplesse, d’efficacité et de disponibilité, afin de les aider à répondre aux différents contextes opérationnels auxquels ils sont confrontés. »

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Directeur général adjoint, Systèmes de mission de défense de Thales

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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 07:30
Counter-Terrorism: Jordan Gets By With A Little Help From Its Friends

 

September 13, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Jordan recently revealed more details of the Israeli assistance it was receiving for the fight against Islamic terrorism. Israel has supplied Jordan with a dozen lightweight Slylark UAVs and the services of one or more larger Heron TP UAVs. Israel has also provided special electronics and software so that Jordan can more effectively track its own troops and possible Islamic terrorist activity. There appears to be some cooperation in the area of special operations (command0) troops. Both nations have a good track record in this area but Jordan can more easily put their commandos into Iraq or Syria than can Israel.

 

It’s no secret that since the late 1960s Israel and Jordan have been on good terms. This is mutually beneficial because both nations have large numbers of Palestinians to deal with and these Palestinians tend to be a source of disloyalty for both the Jewish dominated democracy of Israel and the Bedouin (Arab) monarchy of Jordan. Since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 Jordan has had to deal with lots of refugees and, for a while, more Islamic terror attacks. Jordan continues to keep Islamic terrorists from reaching Israel via Jordan and provides valuable intel on what is going on in Syria and Iraq and the Arab world in general. As it has done for decades, Israel also passes on any useful intel to Jordan, especially if it involves attacks against the royal family.

 

Jordan is poor and does not have a lot of money for new equipment. Thus the arrival of the Israeli Skylark UAVs was much appreciated. This UAV has been around since 2008, has an impressive combat record and a new version (Skylard 1LE) recently showed up. This is a 7.5 kg (16.5 pound) aircraft with a 1.1 kg (2.4 pound) payload. This is sufficient to carry Israeli designed vidcam, laser designator and communications gear that can work with the American Rover ground terminals (designed to let commanders on the ground see what UAVs are seeing). Max endurance is three hours, max altitude is 4,700 meters (15,000 feet). Max distance from the operator is 40 kilometers.

 

The Heron TP has been in service since 2009 and is similar to the 4.5 ton American Reaper. Equipped with a powerful (1,200 horsepower) turboprop engine, the 4.6 ton Heron TP can operate at 14,500 meters (45,000 feet). That is above commercial air traffic and all the air-traffic-control regulations that discourage, and often forbid, UAVs fly at the same altitude as commercial aircraft. The Heron TP has a one ton payload, enabling it to carry sensors that can give a detailed view of what's on the ground, even from that high up. The endurance of 36 hours makes the Heron TP a competitor for the U.S. five ton MQ-9 Reaper. The big difference between the two is that Reaper is designed to be a combat aircraft, operating at a lower altitude, with less endurance, and able to carry a ton of smart bombs or missiles. Heron TP is meant mainly for reconnaissance and surveillance, and Israel wants to keep a closer, and more persistent, eye on Syria, southern Lebanon and now parts of Jordan threatened by ISIL. The Heron TP has also been rigged to carry a wide variety of missiles and smart bombs.

 

In the 1967 war with Israel, the Jordanians caused the Israelis more trouble than any other Arab army. Since then, the Israelis and Jordanians have maintained good relations, partly because of the realization that war between the two nations would be particularly bloody. Jordan also became a good ally of the United States, and American Special Forces have worked with their Jordanian counterparts for decades. Another thing that keeps the Jordanian troops on their toes is the fact that most Jordanians are non-Bedouin Palestinians, a population that has produced a lot of terrorists and disloyal Jordanians. The royal family of Jordan, from an ancient Bedouin family, takes very good care of the largely Bedouin armed forces, which provides security for the royal family.

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15 septembre 2015 2 15 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
Swiss parliament approves Hermes 900 deal

 

08 September, 2015 BY: Arie Egozi - FG

 

The Swiss parliament on 7 September voted in favour of an armed forces plan to buy six Elbit Systems Hermes 900 unmanned air vehicles, in a deal valued at $256 million.

 

Last year, the Hermes 900 was selected by the Swiss armed forces, but the signing of a contract was delayed until the receipt of political approval. A deal should now be signed within the next few weeks. The Hermes 900 UAVs to be supplied to Switzerland will be in an upgraded version that will improve performance in some parameters. One of the enhancements is the provision of a heavy fuel engine, which will enable the aircraft to achieve a higher rate of climb after take-off – a key requirement because of the country's mountainous terrain.

 

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15 septembre 2015 2 15 /09 /septembre /2015 07:20
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

 

11 September, 2015 BY: Beth Stevenson - FG

 

CAE’s defence lead has revealed plans to replicate the unmanned air vehicle training that it offers to the US Air Force to more operators of the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems family of Predator UAVs.

 

The company currently provides pilot training for the MQ-1 and MQ-9 UAVs to the USAF at Holloman AFB in New Mexico, but with more sales of the type – particularly in Europe – Gene Colabatistto, group president of defence and security, is hoping that more “centres of excellence” can be established worldwide. “The strategy is that we want to be aligned with the Predator,” Colabatistto said during a media briefing at Holloman AFB, adding that there is an opportunity in every region – plus more in the USA – and that CAE has locations for these in mind. Italy is the first operator nation to acquire its own simulator for its Predator fleet, suggesting that Rome could be pursuing an intention to establish itself as a centre for training in Europe. France, Italy and the UK all carry out their pilot training at Holloman, while Dutch personnel are due to begin training next year.

 

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14 septembre 2015 1 14 /09 /septembre /2015 16:50
Strong interest for MIDCAS results advancing European RPAS air traffic integration


Brussels - 11 September, 2015 European Defence Agency
 

The MIDCAS (Mid Air Collision Avoidance System) consortium together with the European Defence Agency (EDA) announced the final results of the MIDCAS project at the final stakeholder workshop in Brussels. Major milestones included flight tests with fully automatic avoidance manoeuvres of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). 

 

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) represent an important part of future aviation. RPAS operations are expected to benefit European citizens in the fields of security, disaster relief and many other activities. It is therefore important that RPAS can fly in non-segregated airspace together with today's manned aviation. MIDCAS as the European Detect and Avoid project is a cornerstone to prepare a safe integration of RPAS in non-segregated airspace. 

 

The sixth and final MIDCAS Workshop in Brussels 

Since 2010, five MIDCAS stakeholder workshops have been organised providing opportunity for valuable discussions and exchange of information with stakeholders about the project results and findings. The final workshop, which took place 8 and 9 September, provided a summary of the project, final results and conclusions regarding operational and technical recommendations. ”About a hundred committed and engaged stakeholders from around the world took part in the workshop. This manifests the will and necessity of working together to bring Detect and Avoid to a conclusion” says Johan Pellebergs, MIDCAS project leader. 

 

Flight tests and simulations

Flights with a demonstrator Detect & Avoid (D&A) system integrated in the Sky-Y RPAS test bed have been successful. Fully automatic coupled avoidance manoeuvres were performed by the RPAS based on combined cooperative and non-cooperative detection as well as non-cooperative detection only against manned aircraft on collision course. Flight tests have covered numerous scenarios and sensor combinations bringing RPAS traffic integration a significant step closer to reality. The Detect and Avoid system tested, performs collision avoidance and traffic avoidance using data fusion for various combinations of the included detection technologies. 

Several types of simulations including Monte Carlo simulations, real-time simulations and Air Traffic Control operational simulations have also been performed to validate the system and operational requirements successfully. 

 

MIDCAS is the European Detect & Avoid Project 

The MIDCAS project was launched in 2009 by five contributing Member States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain under the lead of Sweden) under the framework of the European Defence Agency, with a total budget of €50 million. “EDA together with its participating Member States are committed to the operation of RPAS in European airspace coordinated with all other military and civilian traffic. MIDCAS has taken a key step forward to prepare the next generation of high performance European RPAS”, Peter Round, EDA Capability, Armament & Technology Director, says. 

MIDCAS has been carried out by an industrial consortium composed of eleven partners: Saab (project leader) from Sweden, Sagem and Thales from France, Airbus D&S, Diehl BGT Defence, DLR and ESG from Germany, Alenia Aermacchi, Selex ES, CIRA from Italy and Indra from Spain. Throughout the project, external stakeholders such as EASA, EUROCONTROL, EUROCAE and JARUS, were involved in the process. 

 

More information:

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14 septembre 2015 1 14 /09 /septembre /2015 16:50
The future of European drone programmes

 

14-09-2015 - by SEDE

 

On 22 September the Subcommittee will debate the future of European drone programmes with representatives of the European Defence Agency and the European Commission.

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14 septembre 2015 1 14 /09 /septembre /2015 16:45
photo U.N.

photo U.N.

 

14 September 2015 by Africa Defense Forum

 

With unmanned aircraft changing the dynamics of warfare, it should come as no surprise that the technology is changing peacekeeping as well.

 

Since the end of 2013, the United Nations has used unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs and drones, to fly over the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The 5-meter-long Selex ES Falco drones monitor remote regions that U.N. peacekeeping troops can’t reach. The drones, equipped with cameras, heat-signature equipment and night-vision technology, can conduct surveillance in the dark and detect movement below a thick tree canopy — a new frontier in intelligence-gathering. The drones patrol the eastern border at a low altitude, monitoring rebels and militia, and also track illegal mining in the region. The DRC mission known by the acronym MONUSCO is the first time the U.N. has used drones for peacekeeping. Although the sophisticated UAVs aren’t cheap, they are becoming more affordable. The initial cost of the two-drone mission was estimated at $15 million per year, or about 1 percent of the mission’s annual budget. The mission has since added three more drones, although one of them crashed in October 2014. “They provide a very good bang for the buck,” a U.N. official told FoxNews.com. “When you are thinly spread in the region, these UAVs provide an extra set of eyes for our peacekeepers in the DRC.” Drone use in the military is here to stay. As of early 2012, at least 10 African countries had established some type of drone program.

 

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12 septembre 2015 6 12 /09 /septembre /2015 16:35
New Delhi Nods +$400 Million Israeli Mega Drone Procurement

 

Sep 12, 2015 defense-update.com

 

The IAF has been seeking an unmanned, precision attack capability as a matter of high priority. These new drones will be operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which already has a large fleet of Searcher and Heron I reconnaissance drones. Both are produced by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).

 

The Indian government recently approved a plan to procure ten new missile-armed drones from Israel. “The $400-million proposal for buying armed Heron TP drones from Israel was cleared last week,” The Economic Times reported.

These new drones will be operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which already has a large fleet of Searcher and Heron I reconnaissance drones. Both are produced by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). The IAF also has a fleet of Harpy UAVs from Israel – designed as loitering radar-supression weapons. In addition,India operates the HAROP, a spin-off variant of the loitering weapon, designed to attack other surface targets. (Both Harpy and Harop are also made by IAI).

The proposed sale of the Heron TP to India had been on the table since 2012, but, only after the election of the new Modi government, did it receive the necessary political backing.

 

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7 septembre 2015 1 07 /09 /septembre /2015 11:50
Watchkeeper - photo Thales Group

Watchkeeper - photo Thales Group

 

7 septembre 2015 Aerobuzz.fr

 

A l’occasion du salon international de la défense et de la sécurité MSPO qui se tient à Kielce du 1er au 4 septembre, l’industriel polonais WB Electronics et Thales ont dévoilé leur système de drone tactique répondant aux exigences du programme Gryf (Griffon). Développé conjointement, ce drone tactique offre des capacités conformes aux besoins du programme de défense polonais en termes de système armé, dans le cadre d’une collaboration étroite avec l’industrie locale.

 

Basée sur le système Watchkeeper fourni aux forces britanniques, un drone non armé qui a démontré son potentiel sur les théâtres d’opération, la solution proposée par WB Electronics et Thales intègre sur une seule plateforme des fonctionnalités de surveillance et les capacités de frappe du missile léger multirôle FreeFall LMM conçu par Thales.

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31 août 2015 1 31 /08 /août /2015 11:20
photo USAF

photo USAF

 

August 30, 2015 by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

 

North Dakota has become the first state to legalize police use of armed drones, according to various news outlets.

The law stipulates that the weapons must be of a “less than lethal” type such as tear gas, tasers or rubber bullets.

Republican state Rep. Rick Becker, who sponsored the bill, said he wasn’t thrilled how the law turned out. “In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponized. Period,” Becker said. He was cited in a recent article by the news outlet The Daily Beast.

 

Read the full article here.

 

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