Rocket Lab launches surveillance satellite for Australian DoD, US NRO

by Oishee Majumdar

Rocket Lab launched NROL-199, co-developed by the US NRO and the Australian DoD, with the help of its Electron rocket from a spaceport in New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula on 4 August. (Rocket Lab )

The second of the two surveillance satellites co-developed by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) of the United States and the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) was launched by the US-based Rocket Lab from its spaceport in New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula on 4 August.

The US NRO and Rocket Lab confirmed the launch of this second satellite, named ‘Antipodean Adventure' or NROL-199, on Twitter.

The first satellite named ‘Wise One Looks Ahead' or NROL-162 along with NROL-199 “carry national security payloads” designed and built by the US NRO in partnership with the Australian DoD, a spokesperson for the NRO told Janes on 3 August.

The two agencies will collaborate in operating these satellites, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the NROL-162 and NROL-199 “missions are the latest examples of NRO's commitment to enhancing relationships” with the US' “allies and partners and demonstrates NRO's capability to consecutively launch multiple rockets from overseas locations”.


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Poland completes receipt of Turkish UAVs

by Gareth Jennings

Poland now has all 24 of the TB2 UAVs it ordered from Türkiye, operating them across four systems based at the 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base at Mirosławiec. (Polish MND)

Poland has received the last of 24 Baykar Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Türkiye.

The Polish Armaments Agency (AA) announced the milestone on 16 May, saying that the last four unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), each comprising six UAVs, had been received into the 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base at Mirosławiec on the same day.

“The Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Defense, Paweł Bejda, together with representatives of the Polish Armed Forces, took part in the ceremony of completing the delivery of the last, fourth set of the Bayraktar TB2 unmanned reconnaissance and strike system,” the AA said.


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Edge unveils Hunter 5 loitering munition prototype in test video

by Jeremy Binnie

The Hunter 5 prototype before its first test flight at the X Range. (Edge Group)

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Edge Group has updated the product page for its Hunter 5 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a video showing its first test flight.

The video said the flight took place in November 2023 at the company's X Range testing facility on Abu al Abyad island. It showed a prototype fitted with fixed undercarriage and non-folding wings, having its two-cylinder petrol engine manually started before it took off and flew around the range's runway.

The promotional image of the Hunter 5 on the Edge website shows it with folding wings, no undercarriage, and a probable rocket booster for launching it from a rail or canister.


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Heron TP makes maiden German flight

by Gareth Jennings

The GHTP lifts off from Jagel for its maiden flight in German airspace. (IAI)

The Luftwaffe has flown the first of its leased Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) on its maiden flight in German airspace on 15 May.

Announced by the Bundeswehr, Airbus Defence and Space as the lead contractor for the programme, and IAI, the milestone saw the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operating out of its future home station of Jagel (also known as Schleswig Air Base) in the far north of Germany.

Known as the German Heron TP (GHTP), the UAS was awarded a type certificate by the German Military Aviation Authority in late 2022, at which time it was operated out of an undisclosed location in Israel.

The GHTP is intended to bridge the gap between the retirement of the earlier Heron 1 UAS and the introduction of the new European MALE UAS known as Eurodrone, with Airbus Defence and Space operating five air vehicles out to 2027.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/rocket-lab-launches-surveillance-satellite-for-australian-dod-us-nro

The second of the two surveillance satellites co-developed by the National Reconnaissance Office (NR...

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