New drone news September 2020: Artificial intelligence, $7.4 billion Reaper deal, Aksungur, Herons etc

  • Andrils new drone and artificial intelligence, in Wired, Sept. 15.
  • Was Sentinel radar sent to Syria by the US to help defend against drone threats, Sept. 19.
  • Houthis increase drone strikes on Saudi Arabia, September 19.
  • “In an effort to field MQ-9 Reapers faster and meet an increasing operational demand for the aircraft, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s MQ-9 Program Office awarded a $7.4 billion ceiling Agile Reaper Enterprise Solution (ARES) contract to General Atomics today…ARES, a five year fixed indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, developed by the MQ-9 Program Office, will stabilize costs, allow for the procurement of up to 36 aircraft per year in the same appropriation year, and reduce the time it takes to deliver the aircraft to operational units by approximately 35 percent…ARES has a pre-negotiated $3.3 billion price-quantity-curve. This curve allows the Air Force and foreign military sales partners to unilaterally order between 4-36 aircraft in a single year.
  • Foreign Military Sales partners will be allowed to procure the Dash 21 variant, which is the NATO exportable version of the MQ-9A. This could include Taiwan.
  • “Unmasking Canada’s role in the drone wars.”
  • Turkish Aerospace Industries’ UAV Aksungur completes 28-hour-long flight at 20,000 feet carrying payload of 12 MAM-L smart ammunition.
  • Gadfin aerologistics and delivery, scanning, (see link). The largest electricity infrastructure company in the world, has chosen the Israeli GADFIN to scan 800,000 km of power lines, using UAVs.
  • “Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claim to have dispatched a Sammad-3 type drone aircraft in an attempted attack on Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia.”- September 17.
  • Steadicopter in Israel unveils near electric models.
The Heron lands at Ben-Gurion Airport (IAI)
  • Augmented reality for US “The new pilot program — led by Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development and the U.S. Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office — is based around the Israeli company Xtend’s Skylord counter-UAV system.”
  • The Heron, a UAV developed and built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), landed today at Ben Gurion International Airport, becoming the first UAV to land in an international airport alongside commercial flights occupying civilian air space. 
  • “Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) recently successfully completed a series of flight demonstrations for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). The demonstration were run by the MCA and were designed to test the capabilities of using a UAS to enhance Search and Rescue (SaR) capabilities and the use of long-range unmanned capabilities in civilian airspace Taking place off the West Coast of Wales over the first two weeks of September, the Hermes 900 was able to fly advanced Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) missions into unsegregated and uncontrolled airspace, in full alignment with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).” – Elbit

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