General Atomics' MQ−9B SkyGuardian UAV completed the first ever transatlantic flight of a medium-altitude long range (MALE) UAV. The unmanned aerial vehicle touched down at RAF Fairford, UK landing, via Canada, Ireland, and Wales after a 3,760 nautical mile sortie from the US in 24 hours. The journey was the first flight of both the SkyGuardian and any MALE UAV. L3 Technologies Communication Systems provided Ku-band satellite communication (SATCOM) to control the UAV throughout the flight with no handover to a control station in the UK, Inmarsat, a British Satellite company provided a backup L-band SATCOM capability, . A line-of-sight ground control station was shipped to Fairford to carry out its automatic landing. "The transit demonstrates that the UAV is self-deploying. The aircraft is yet to go through certification testing and will not be delivered to the RAF until the early 2020s," Jonny King, vice-president of GA-ASI UK was quoted as saying by DefenseNews Friday.
The UK is expected to acquire the drone under its 'protector' program, which is a combination of foreign military sales (FMS) and direct commercial sales deals with the United States. The Protector will fly alongside manned aircraft, said Air Marshal Julian Young, chief of materiel for air, defense equipment and support for the Royal Air Force.
The RAF plans to equip the UAV with MBDA’s Brimstone ground attack missile and Raytheon UK Paveway IV laser-guided bombs, although contracts for these have also not yet been signed.
The German Parliament, Bundestag, is likely to approve leasing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel in a €1 billion (US $1.1 billion) deal amidst opposition from the German Social Democratic Party (SDP)
The US Navy has awarded over $48 million worth contract to Virginia-based Six3 Advanced Systems Inc. to support deployment of counter- unmanned aerial systems (UAS) engineering, the Department of defense announced Thursday
Leonardo has been selected by Italian ENAV as its industrial partner for the development of an air traffic control system for unmanned aircraft and for the provision of related services. ENAV will set up a new company for the development of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Traffic Management (UTM) system and the provision of related services, including technical maintenance
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) have collaborated with a Kazakh aviation firm to co-develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). TAI signed agreement with Kazakhstan Aviation Industry (KAI) to jointly work in the production and supply of Anka UAV and Hurkus new generation training aircraft, during the on-going International Exhibition Weapons Systems and Military Equipment (KADEX-2018), Anadolu Agency reports
General Atomics has concluded performance testing of the arresting hook Hold Down Damper (HDD) for its proposed MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft for the United States Navy. GA-ASI worked in collaboration with a team from GKN Aerospaces Fokker business unit in Helmond, Netherlands
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