The U.S. Army has selected the supplier of the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), a new low-cost solution after the cancellation of the Comanche helicopter program in 2004. ARH will replace the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.
The UK MOD has awarded Thales UK a £700 million contract to develop the Watchkeeper battlefield surveillance UAV. Thales is partnering with Elbit and the two companies will form a joint venture company in Leicester in order to manufacture the airframe (which is based on Elbit Silver Arrow’s Hermes 450.
The first “Special Comprehensive License” (SCL) for exporting thermal imaging cameras is currently moving through the export control process at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The move is significant since such a license would allow a manufacturer of infrared cameras to receive blanket approval for shipments to a list of approved distributors without having to first certify the end-user.
Two individuals involved with Night Vision Technology Corp. will face trial in October for signing contracts with Chinese military agencies to transfer U.S. infrared technology. The two, Martin Shih, a Taiwanese-Canadian and president of the company, and Dr. Philip Cheng, a Taiwanese-American consultant are accused of signing contracts to provide high-tech equipment and consulting for the mass production of thermal imaging cameras.
The Lead Systems Integrators (Boeing and SAIC) for Future Combat Systems are announcing Business Opportunities in several Technology Areas of Interest.
The U.S. Army has awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), a $214 million System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract to develop its next generation tactical UAV. The Extended Range Multi purpose (ERMP) UAV (called Warrior) is based on a derivative of the Predator UAV.
Northrop Grumman’s Counter MANPADS system for protecting commercial airliners from shoulder-launched missiles is beginning flight tests after three critical design reviews by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The system, dubbed Guardian™, is based on the company’s military Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system.
An Industry Day will be held later this year for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) Class I UAV Imaging Payload. The Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) provides the dismounted soldier Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA).
The SMaRTS (Soldier Mobility and Rifle Targeting System.) being developed by Rockwell Collins’ Kaiser Electro-Optics unit has been upgraded to a fused IR and I2 (image intensifier) sensor. SMaRTS is intended to provide Special Forces units with several unique capabilities.