Author Archives: DDN Staff

RQ-4 Global Hawk
Photo: Northrop Grumman

Air Force Global Hawk Upgrades Greenlighted

The Air Force has received Defense Department approval to update its fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, prime contractor Northrop Grumman [NOC] announced May 5. The Milestone C decision allows the Air Force to proceed with various modernization activities included in its fiscal year 2016 budget request, said John VanBrabant, Northrop Grumman business development […]

Lockheed Martin unveils Desert Hawk UAS variant

Lockheed Martin Unveils New Desert Hawk UAS variant

Lockheed Martin [LMT] said May 6 that it has developed Desert Hawk 4, a longer-endurance variant of its hand-launched Desert Hawk 3 unmanned aerial system (UAS). Desert Hawk 4 can stay airborne for over 2.5 hours, up from the 1.5-hour flight time of Desert Hawk 3, which the British Army has operated for the past decade, […]

A Tomahawk taking to the skies. Photo: U.S. Navy

Raytheon Delays Testing New Seeker for Tomahawk Missile

Raytheon [RTN], which is proposing to add a new seeker to the Tomahawk cruise missile so the U.S. Navy weapon can hit moving targets on land and at sea, has delayed a key flight test of the seeker by several months. Raytheon, which originally planned to fly the multi-mode seeker on the nose of a […]

An Indago UAS prepares to survey cyclone damage in Vanuatu. (Heliwest photo)

Lockheed Martin’s Indago UAS Maps Cyclone Damage

Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] Indago small unmanned aerial system (UAS) recently deployed to Vanuatu to help the impoverished Pacific archipelago nation recover from a devastating natural disaster, the company announced May 4. During a two-week mission that ended in mid-April, the five-pound, quad-rotor Indago, operated by Australia’s Heliwest, collected video and photographs to map damage caused […]


Defense Watch

NDAA Markups: SASC released its markup schedule for the National Defense Authorization Act, days after the corresponding House committee approved its own version of the bill. The full committee markup–which runs May 13-15—will remain closed this year, as decided by a SASC vote. Subcommittees were allowed to choose whether to open their own markups. The […]

An artist's rendering of the unmanned ARES aircraft carrying a cargo container. (Lockheed Martin photo)

DARPA’s ARES Unmanned VTOL Prototype Nears Flight Testing

The Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES), an unmanned, vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) prototype touted for its compact design and interchangeable payload, is on track to begin flight testing in the fourth quarter of this year, according to an industry official. ARES, which is under development for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is being built and […]

The X-47B is refueled in flight over the Chesapeake Bay April 22. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)

U.S. Must Lead on Unmanned Systems, Mabus Says

The U.S. military must continue to aggressively develop unmanned systems or risk losing its advantage to other countries that are pursuing the technology, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus warned April 30. “If we don’t keep up in this, if we don’t lead in this, we will very certainly be bypassed in this because we’re not the […]

During a recent demonstration, an unmanned K-MAX helicopter transported a simulated wounded warfighter to safety. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Unmanned K-MAX helicopter Demonstrates Casualty Evacuation

An unmanned K-MAX helicopter has shown it could evacuate wounded troops from a combat zone, Lockheed Martin [LMT] announced April 29. During a March 26 demonstration, ground operators used a Neya Systems UxInterceptor unmanned ground vehicle to assess the condition of a “casualty,” which was a 30-pound mannequin simulating an injured person, and to search […]

Precision Drone's Pacesetter UAS for the agricultural industry. Photo: Precision Drones

FAA Speeding Up Reviews of Small UAS Applications

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is accelerating its review of industry requests to fly small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the nation’s airspace, an FAA official said April 28. The number of applications approved under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 was initially just a handful but has mushroomed to […]

This "enhanced" image shows Indago flying with an antenna that can find lost people. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin’s Indago UAS to Search For Lost Alzheimer’s Patients

Lockheed Martin [LMT] is equipping its Indago small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to help first-responders search for special-needs people who have wandered from home. A lightweight antenna developed by Loen Engineering of British Columbia, Canada, is being integrated onto the five-pound, quad-rotor UAS to pick up signals from a radio-transmitter wristband worn by a lost […]