Archive: UAV

The 20-percent scale model of the Aurora LightningStrike Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) undergoes a flight test in Maryland. Photo: Aurora Flight Sciences.

Boeing Closes Deal For Aurora Flight Sciences

Boeing [BA] on Wednesday completed its acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences, boosting its ability to more quickly develop autonomous technologies for flight. Terms of the deal, which was first announced in early October, were not disclosed. Aurora will retain its name and independent operating model, functioning as a subsidiary under Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology. […]

The VA001 landing after 5 days of flight at NASA Wallops Flight Facility. (Photo: NASA)

Vanilla Aircraft’s UAV Finishes Five Day Flight

Vanilla Aircraft’s VA001 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) finished the longest unmanned internal combustion powered flight ever, the company said last Thursday. The over five-day flight occurred over 7,000 miles, ending at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The aircraft carried several payloads, including NASA’s multi-spectral imager and a Defense Department-furnished sensor and radio. The company […]

Coast Guard Approves Plans To Move Forward With Small UAS Acquisition

The Coast Guard last week said its acquisition authorities have approved a plan to begin soliciting bids for a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) that can operate from its new high-endurance cutter fleet. Release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the small UAS is expected before the end of 2017, a spokeswoman for the […]

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U.S. Africa Command Building Drone Site In Central Niger

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) says it is building an “operating location” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in central Niger to enhance its collection of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information on the continent. At Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, U.S. military engineering squadrons and contractors are improving the runway and basic life-support facilities, AFRICOM […]

An MQ-8B Fire Scout conducts low-light conditional development testing with the AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Photo: U.S. Navy).

Mine Detection System Achieves IOC

The U.S. Navy’s AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system airborne mine detection system has achieved initial operational capability (IOC), the service said Tuesday. COBRA is a sensor payload that can be integrated into the Northrop Grumman [NOC] MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned air system (UAS) deployed on to a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). COBRA […]

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Leonardo Scores Production Contract For MRAP-Based Counter-Drone System

The Army has awarded Leonardo DRS a contract to fulfill an urgent operational need to protect soldiers from enemy unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The $42 million contract for counter-UAS capability is a follow-on to a previous contract under which DRS and Moog [MOG.A, MOG.B]] built prototypes of a two-vehicle anti-drone defense system. The previous $16 […]

Flight test of Aurora Flight Sciences subscale VTOL UAS. Earlier this year the company conducted a series of flight tests on the 325-pound aircraft, demonstrating the ability of the tiltwing aircraft to take-off and land vertically and to fly horizontally. Photo: Aurora Flight Sciences

In A Fast Changing World, Boeing Acquiring Aurora To Help Develop Future Aircraft

Boeing [BA] on Thursday said it has agreed to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences, a technology leader in autonomy, aerostructures and aerospace designs, in a deal the world’s largest aerospace company is betting will help it design and develop the next-generation of commercial and military aircraft that are expected to increasingly feature more autonomous capabilities. Terms […]

The popular quadcopter UAV developed by China's DJI. Photo: DJI

Air Force To Test Directed Energy Weapons Against Small Drones

The U.S. Air Force plans to conduct an experiment in fiscal year 2018 using directed energy weapons to counter small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The experiment will seek to determine whether high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves could help in such ways as protecting military bases in combat zones, the Air Force announced late Sept. 26. […]

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Photo: Northrop Grumman

Operational Demands Limit Readiness Of Air Force RPA Operators

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.–The constant pace of Air Force unmanned aircraft operations in war zones is limiting the readiness of the crews that operate these systems, the head of Air Combat Command said this week. The Air Force is “pretty good” at performing the missions with the Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) despite their original assignation as […]