• DARPA, Dynetics move Gremlins focus to aerial recovery

    The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Dynetics are shifting their focus in the Gremlins programme to aerial recovery of the X-61A demonstrator after completing the device’s first flight test in November 2019. The goal of this third phase of Gremlins will be the

  • Hermes 900 MALE UAV enters service with Philippine Air Force

    The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has begun operating the Elbit Systems Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Images of two of the nine Hermes 900 platforms ordered from Israel have been circulating on social media since November 2019, with a video emerging a

  • Three-engined variant of China’s Tengden TB001 UAV makes maiden flight

    Images have emerged of a three-engined variant of the Sichuan Tengden Technology Company (also spelled Tengoen) TW328/TB001 strike-capable, reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) conducting what Chinese media have said was the platform’s first flight. The new variant took to the skies

  • Falco Xplorer UAV makes maiden flight

    Leonardo flew its Falco Xplorer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the first time on 15 January, the company announced. The approximately one-hour flight saw the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV depart Trapani Air Force Base on Sicily before returning to the same location. As noted by

  • Gremlins demonstrator makes maiden flight

    Dynetics, Inc flew its X-61A Gremlins demonstrator for the first time in late 2019, it was announced on 17 January. A video of the maiden flight released by the company showed the Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) separate from a Lockheed Martin C-130A Hercules ‘mother-ship’ over Dugway

  • Surface Navy 2020: USN to start search for new Medium Unmanned Underwater Vehicle

    The US Navy (USN) is set to kick off a competition to acquire a new Medium Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (MUUV) designed to support both mine countermeasures and oceanographic/environmental data gathering missions. To be deployed from both surface ships and submarines, the MUUV will be the de facto

  • Surface Navy 2020: Potential USN ammo could turn LCS into counter-drone ship

    A new kind of ammunition round being pursued by Northrop Grumman for the on-board Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) gun system could help the US Navy (USN) counter drone attacks, according to Kevin Knowles, the head of business development for LCS/Unmanned Surface Vessel programmes. Northrop Grumman has

  • Surface Navy 2020: Insitu to outfit entire USCG national security cutter fleet with ScanEagles by end of year

    Insitu is on pace to supply its ScanEagle endurance mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to the US Coast Guard’s (USCG’s) entire national security cutter (NSC) fleet by the end of 2020, according to a company official. Ron Tremain, Insitu senior business executive for Department of

  • France launches concept study for a Stratobus type HAPS

    The French defence procurement agency Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) has signed a contract with Thales and Thales Alenia Space to conduct a concept study regarding intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications for a Stratobus-type platform, Thales

  • UK targets April for ‘swarming drones’ development unit

    The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) expects to stand-up an experimental unit dedicated to developing an operational ‘swarming drones’ capability in the coming months, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane’s on 13 January. 216 Squadron will be reactivated at the beginning of April, the

  • Brazil to operate UAS from ships

    The Brazilian Navy will field its INSITU ScanEagle long-endurance fixed-wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from the Niterói-class frigates and Amazonas-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), the service told Jane’s . The UAS will be initially used in the consolidation of an operation

  • Northrop Grumman completes initial trials of AQS-24B aboard MCM USV

    Northrop Grumman has completed initial at-sea testing of its AQS-24B minehunting sonar using a new deploy and retrieval (D&R) payload, the company announced on 6 January. The sonar and the associated D&R system were installed on a prototype Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vessel (MCM

  • UK ‘swarming drone’ timeline in doubt as development unit delayed

    The UK’s ambitious plans to field an operational ‘swarming drone’ capability by the middle of this year looks to be in doubt as the experimental unit dedicated to developing the concept has yet to be stood-up. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane’s on 7 January that 216

  • PLAGF, PAP special forces broadening use of small UAVs

    Special forces and scout units within China’s People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) and People’s Armed Police (PAP) appear to be increasing the use of small reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to help them locate and engage potential targets. Images posted by the

  • Update: CASC expands domestic UAV testing and production capabilities

    The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) – the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development arm of defence prime China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) – has expanded its domestic production capabilities with a newly commissioned automated manufacturing facility

  • Robotic Research unveils Pegasus Mini hybrid UAS/UGV

    Robotic Research, a Maryland-based developer of autonomy and robotic technologies catering to commercial and government customers, has taken the opportunity at the CES 2020 exhibition being held in Las Vegas from 7 to 10 January to unveil the Pegasus Mini hybrid vertical take-off and landing

  • Pakistan Navy inducts LUNA NG UAVs and second ATR-72 MPA

    The Pakistan Navy (PN) inducted several aerial platforms on 4 January in a ceremony held at Naval Air Station PNS Mehran in Karachi that was also attended by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi. Among the new platforms is the second of two ATR-72 twin-engine turboprops converted

  • Indonesia reveals armed reconnaissance UAV development programme

    PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), a state-owned Indonesian aerospace company, has unveiled the first prototype of an indigenously developed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to the public at its Bandung headquarters on 30 December. The strike-capable UAV has been

  • Karayel UAV lost over Yemen

    The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (the Houthis) claimed on 30 December that it shot down a Turkish-developed Karayel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Al-Hudaydah province as part of an escalated air defence campaign. The group’s website cited its military spokesman as saying the Karayel

  • Indonesia unveils prototype of indigenously developed strike-capable UAV

    Indonesian state-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has unveiled a prototype of an indigenously developed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The strike-capable UAV, which has been dubbed Elang Hitam (Black Eagle), was unveiled to the public on

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