Saturday, March 02, 2019

Terminator Times #55

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones):

The cat and mouse game militaries are playing with small UAVs.

The Pentagon is flying more border missions with its UAVs.

The MDA contracted General Dynamics to use a Reaper for missile detection.

The US military is struggling a bit with how smart to make its drone swarms.

The US Air Force awarded a $18.3M contract to Space Labs to support the Global Hawk in South Korea.

US Air Force will have Raytheon maintain cyber security for the Global Hawk.

US Air Force's XQ-58A Valkyrie will have its first flight next week.

A new ground station has controlled a USAF Reaper for the first time.

Will drone swarms help the US Air Force fight wild fires?

The US Army is looking at replacements for its RQ-7 Shadows.

The US Army is buying Black Hornet nano UAVs.

The US Army is using Coyote drones to kill other drones.

The US Coast Guard lifted the stop work order on the Insitu UAV being developed.

The US Navy gave Northrop a $19.6M contract for software work on the MQ-8 Fire Scout.

The US Navy ordered 5 more RQ-8 Fire Scouts.

The US Navy is also retooling the Fire Scout program.

The US Navy's MALD-N is moving forward into a fully funded EMD.

The US Navy wants the GQM-163A target drone to mimic the Russian Klub missile.

The US Navy declared the BQM-177A target drone to have its IOC.

The US Navy will test a swarm of EW drones launched from Growlers.

A mishap with a US Navy MQ-4C Triton might actually increase trust in UAVs.

Some are stating the US Navy's carriers need a airwing revamp, inclusive of UAVs.

Australia and Boeing announced a new Loyal Wingman aircraft called the BATS.  It is designed to be built in Australia without American components so it can be exported pretty much anywhere without American approvals.  First flight is expected to be next year.

The Australian army has started its Shadow UAV replacement procurement.

Australia will get its first Triton UAV in 2023.

Australia is changing how it is buying its shipborne drones.

Britain's Protector drones will carry the Brimstone missile and Paveway bombs.

The British have declared FOC for the Watchkeeper UAV.

The British are planning on using drone swarms to defeat air defenses.

The British are decommissioning a Reaper.

The British Tempest 6th Gen Fighter will have an unmanned loyal wingman that will be carrier capable.

The British have stood up a new drone squadron.

Canada and NATO are bidding on the mothballed German Eurohawk HALE UAV prototype.

China's AT200 UAV is about to start operational evals.

China's SD40 VTOL UAV started sea trials.

The makers of the EuroDrone may use American sense and avoid tech.

German Heron TP UAV crews are training in Israel.

A German made UAV crashed in Yemen.

Iran unveiled a new version of its stealthy Saegheh UAV which a knockoff of the RQ-170 they captured.

An intel report confirms UAVs given to the Houthi by Iran are a threat to the UAE.

Qatar's Bayraktar UAVs are completing testing.

Russia's Karnivora UAV has started weapons tests.

Russia's Kalashnikov has unveiled its KUB suicide drone with a 30 minute loiter time.

Serbia's Mini Aleks UAV will make its first flight in July.

Taiwan will test fly a modified Teng Yun UAV in 2020.

Turkey has unveiled its twin engined Anka-2.

Turkey also detailed its planned Akini UCAV.

Aero India has unveiled an unmanned helicopter.

Airbus will be doing payload tests on the Zephyr for Australia.

Airbus' Zephyr will attempt to set a new record for flight duration.

Israeli company Airobotics is moving its manufacturing to the US.

Dassault confirmed the Franco-British UCAV work has been ended.

FLIR has purchased Aeryon Labs.

IAI has unveiled a new loitering munition (suicide drone) called hte Mini Harpy.

India's HAL has unveiled its Loyal Wingman concept.

Kratos is developing a new ISR & tactical UAV for a US Gov entity.

Kratos bought a small turbine company in Florida for its drones.

Leonardo is pushing ISR roles for the SkyGuardian UAV.

Mobilcom received $1.2M to develop software bots as an add-on capability for drones.

Northrop is selling its optionally manned Firebird to an unspecified US government customer and is pitching selling it to Australia.

Northrop's Global Hawk will appear at the Avalon airshow.  A first.

Northrop agreed to expand local industry participation in Australia for the Global Hawk.

Textron's UAV control system gets reviewed.

UAVOS has developed a tropicalized UVH-170E VTOL UAV variant.

UVision has opened a US subsidiary.  

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Bolos and Ogres):

The US Army will begin testing some M-113s converted to being robotic to inform on requirements for the Robotic Combat Vehicle program.

Russia is receiving 12 Uran-6 mine clearing UGVs.

FLIR also bought Endeavor Robotics.

Milrem unveiled a missile armed variant of its Themis UGV.

Way Industries updates the Bozena mine clearing UGVs.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (roboats):

The US Navy's Sea Hunter sailed Hawaii and back with no one onboard.

The British Royal Navy received its first C-Enduro USVs.

China is building an armed USV, the JARI, for escorting its destroyers.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (Robo subs):

The Navy Research Lab is looking to modify its Black Pearl AUVs.

The US Navy awarded Boeing the Orca XLUUV contract.  So far, $43M for 4 UUVs.

Russia has completed testing - supposedly - of its Poseidon intercontinental nuclear armed UUV.

3d Printing:

The USAF gave a contract to 3d print a conformal phased array radar antenna.

The US Army is testing combat engineering uses of 3d printing.

The USMC is also testing combat engineering uses of 3d printing.

Swedish researchers looked into whether it was feasible to use 3d printing to maintain assault rifles.


The US Special Forces TALOS exoskeleton isn't yet ready for use in the field.  The first one will be available soon for testing though.

Russia claims it trialled its EO-1 exoskeleton in Syria and testing will complete in 2019.

Software bots:

Is the US losing the AI arms race?

DARPA wants to fix the social science reproducibility problem with bots.

The Pentagon wants to use AI to spot the next global disasters and conflicts.

It also wants to use AI for maintenance and flight safety.

And the Pentagon wants help from Silicon Valley.

The Pentagon needs to woo away talent from Silicon Valley for AI: hint, pay better and be more flexible.

Software bots may help with training for the US Navy.

France wants to integrate software bots with its software defined radios.

Google used micro workers to train its controversial Project Maven AI.


Persistent Systems has developed a control system for unmanned vehicles.

Attacking the automated portions of the an enemy force might be the way to go.

The US Navy has released an RFI for a unmanned systems architecture.

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