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Want to take a flight without a pilot? Here’s your chance

kmax

The future will see an increased use of automated aircraft – that requires little or no human intervention – to perform a wide range of military and civilian tasks, according to experts from American defense giant Lockheed Martin.

At the defence exhibition Idex 2017, Lockheed Martin displayed one of its autonomous aircraft – the KMAX – a helicopter that can autonomously deliver loads of between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds at ranges of over 1,800 kilometers. Aside from programming a flight plan – which can be changed on the fly if necessary – the aircraft doesn’t require any human input to carry out its mission.

The KMAX has already flown dozens of re-supply missions in combat, often over rough terrain in areas hotly contested with enemy forces.

In roughly 2010 as we needed capabilities to deliver supplies to remote areas in Afghanistan, the military asked for urgent technology development that would allow us to deliver large payload, without having to use a manned helicopter and put pilots at risk,

said Jim Murdoch, International Business Development Director, Ship and Aircraft Systems at Lockheed Martin.

Essentially, we supplemented and replaced the pilot with autonomous technology.

It’s more than just an autopilot where you tell the aircraft where to go,” he added. “It’s actually a system that operates the helicopter, take advantages of its dual-rotor technology and heavy lift capability, and uses autonomy to guide the helicopter to the objective area.

The KMAX, Murdoch noted, comes with pre-set responses to problems, such as in-flight malfunctions.

We got the technology to a point where it could safely hover in a pretty rough area, where there were trees, rough terrain, and reliably drop the cargo without damaging it and execute a return to home base,

Murdoch added.

Such technology has many potential uses, according to Murdoch.

(We could) use this to carry a payload of water or firefighting chemicals over a remote forest area where it would be hazardous to get a pilot in there, or to deliver humanitarian supplies to an area of conflict where I really don’t want to have manned aircraft

, he said.

Looking to the future, Murdoch said that autonomous aircraft will become increasingly important – especially for small nations such as the UAE.

These are worldwide trends, and are particularly interesting in the Middle East, he said. The UAE, particularly, I think, strikes me as a very innovative country.it’s an example of innovative thought.

If you want to do more as a small country, one of the things that you have to master is how one can operate a ship or an aviation system with fewer people,” he added. “You need to rely on more automation and innovation.when you don’t have a large military force to begin with, these things become very important. They’re interesting for the United States, but I’m sure they’re fascinating to the emirates.

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Oshkosh Defense Announces Two Orders Totalling $235.2 Million

Oshkosh Defense Announces Two Orders Totalling $235.2 Million

OSHKOSH (Wisconsin, the USA), May 25, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: Wikipedia

The tactical vehicle manufacturer, Oshkosh Defense, announced on 23rd May 2018 that it was awarded two delivery orders at the total amount of $235.2 million from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). The scope of the agreement includes recapitalisation of vehicles in the heavy vehicle fleet of the U.S. Army, reported Shephard Media.

The recapitalisation of the vehicles in the army’s Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and Palletised Load Systems (PLS) fleets will involve upgrading to the latest configuration and the same zero-mile, zero-hour condition as new vehicles.

Under the contract 410 vehicles will be recapitalised and 680 new PLS trailers will be manufactured. Deliveries will start in the Fiscal Year 2019.

“The mark of any good investment is its ability to withstand the test of time. The longevity of the HEMTT and PLS fleets combined with the durability of the platform attest to the value of these mission critical vehicles,” said Pat Williams, VP and general manager of army and marine corps programmes for Oshkosh Defense.

More than 13,000 HEMTT and 3,000 PLS has been recapitalised by Oshkosh Defense since 1995.
The Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) is an eight-wheel drive, diesel-powered with weight of 9,100 kg.

The Palletized Load System (PLS) is designed to carry ammunition and other critical supplies.

Photo: U.S. Army soldiers unload a Mk2 Bridge Erection Boat from a M1977A2 CBT HEMTT into the Missouri River

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Bulava ICBMs Were Test Fired from the Yury Dolgorukiy Submarine

Bulava ICBMs Were Test Fired from the Yury Dolgorukiy Submarine

MOSCOW (Russia), May 25, 2018, Author: Bm News Team, Photo: Wikipedia (K-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy at sea trials)

On 22nd May 2018 four Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were test fired from the Yury Dolgorukiy nuclear submarine of Russia. The test was successful. That was announced by the military in a statement, which was quoted by the state news agencies, reported Shephard Media.

The missiles were fired from the submerged Yury Dolgorukiy submarine in the White Sea on the north-western coast of Russia. The Navy’s northern fleet revealed that the target was a military test ground on the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula.

According to the Navy it was the first time when such a number of missiles are fired from such a type of submarine. The tactical and technical characteristics and reliability of the Yury Dolgorukiy strategic missile submarine and the Bulava missile system were confirmed.

The weight of the Yury Dolgorukiy submarine is 14,720 t. It reaches the speed of 46 km/h. The submarine is from the fourth-generation Borei class of strategic submarines and is designated to carry the Bulava intercontinental nuclear-capable missiles. The first sea trials of that submarine began on 19 June 2009 and the submarine was commissioned on 10 January 2013.

The Bulava is a submarine-launched ballistic missile developed for the Russian Navy. The operational range of the missile is reported to be 8,000-8,300 km, and the accuracy – 350 m.

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AeroVironment Announces a New Switchblade Order

AeroVironment Announces a New Switchblade Order

TAMPA (Florida, the USA, at SOFIC), May 23, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: AeroVironment

On 22nd May 2018, the manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial purposes, AeroVironment, Inc., announced that it has received an order from the U.S. Army for the Switchblade Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) and logistics support. That takes the total value of Switchblade awards to $111,054,202 since August 2017. The agreement has been concluded in April 2018 and involves the first Switchblade order for the needs of the United States Marine Corps.

The vice president and general manager of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment of AeroVironment, Kirk Flittie, explained “Switchblade is a highly effective and mature smart weapon system that delivers unmatched force protection and precision strike capabilities to American forces with minimal to no collateral effects. Man-portable and lightweight, Switchblade is a uniquely powerful LMAMS solution for today’s complex combat environments. AeroVironment stands ready, with a battle-proven product, supply chain and production system, to respond rapidly to this and future requirements to ensure U.S. and allied forces can proceed with certainty.”

The AeroVironment Switchblade features rapid-response force protection. The strike is precise with a range of up to 10 km from the launch location. Besides its extremely preciseness, it has specialized effects and wave-off capability and impresses with its compact dimensions – it fits in an ALICE pack and weighs about 2.5 kg. The warheads of the Switchblade are supplied by the Orbital ATK – a global leader in the aerospace and defence technologies sector.

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Lockheed Martin Awarded BAE Systems a $100 Million+ Contract

Lockheed Martin Awarded BAE Systems a $100 Million+ Contract

LONDON (United Kingdom), May 23, 2018, Author: Bm News Team, Photo: BAE Systems

The global security and aerospace company, Lockheed Martin, has awarded BAE Systems a contract exceeding the amount of $100 million. The duties of BAE Systems under the contract include maintenance and replacement of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft electronic warfare systems, reported FlightGlobal.

The scope of the contract includes management of the supply chain for the electronic warfare system and maintenance of local warehouses with on-hand inventories of major components.

BAE Systems is the manufacturer of the electronic warfare suite for the needs of the F-35 of Lockheed Martin, known as the AN/ASQ-239 Barracuda system. The avionics and sensors of the system provide a 360-degree view of the area surrounding the aircraft, detecting and geo-locating electronic emitters for giving the pilots the opportunity of evading, engaging, countering or jamming threats. All these capabilities are of great importance in terms of the purposes for which the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft has been designed, and namely – ground attack and air superiority missions.

BAE Systems specified that the contract has been agreed to be based on performance-based logistics and that repair and upgrade of the ASQ-239 is included. Under the contract we will see the company supporting all F-35 versions and customers all over the world.

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