Business

May 16, 2012

UAS procurement tops Air Force’s spending list

The unmanned aerial systems market accounted for $5.25 billion of the U.S. Department of Defense’s budget in 2010, with the Air Force emerging as the highest spender among all U.S. military services.

Most of the $2.42 billion the Air Force has earmarked for UAS spending in 2012 is for the procurement of the MQ-9 Predator.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s DOD Unmanned Aerial Systems research finds that fiscal year 2011 government contracts awarded specifically for the DOD UAS market amounted to $3.78 billion. Programs receiving the most contract dollars included the ER/MP MQ-1 Gray Eagle, MQ-9, and RQ-4 UASs.

According to the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, U.S. forces will need to continue improving intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and defenses to counter non-state actors that have access to advanced technologies and information operations. UASs will be central to this effort.

“Current ground wars and nation-building activities in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen drive the need for UAS resources and their diverse mission capabilities,” said Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Michael Blades. “Even the current troop withdrawal from Iraq may not significantly reduce the UAS requirement, as military and political leaders recognize the deterrent effect of unmanned platforms.”

Further, a Defense Science Board Task Force report titled, “Counterinsurgency ISR Operations” has red flagged 24 countries that could pose COIN challenges to the United States. Any involvement in COIN operations requires UAS assets.

Despite their utility, UASs have unresolved technical issues relating to data transfer, such as communications security, spectrum management and bandwidth usage. DOD UAS platforms have to encrypt and transmit or receive data across dedicated frequency spectrums to minimize cross-channel interference.

Technical challenges arise when marrying size, weight and power requirements to frequency bands, as both affect the range and bandwidth capabilities of communications between ISR platforms and their end users.

“Companies that can create and manufacture modular, multi-mission, SWaP-efficient UAS sensors and subsystems will remain competitive,” said Blades. “Small UAS companies will need partnerships with larger companies, exposure to DOD contracts, or unique technologies to survive until theFAA irons out rules and regulations for UAS operation in the National Airspace System.”

Some specific areas of growth for UAS manufacturers are affordable, miniaturized, automatic flight-control systems; sense-and-avoid technologies; redundant sensor/control systems; total systems integration; communications solutions; and data-exploitation efficiencies.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 

 

USSOCOM signs a five-year framework contract for the Carl-Gustaf weapon system

Defense and security company Saab has signed a new framework contract with the U.S. Special Operations Command for the company’s Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system (in the U.S. named MAAWS; Multi-role, Anti-armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System). The contract is a follow on agreement to a previous five-year contract for the 84mm recoilless rifle system. In connection with...
 
 

RQ-4 Global Hawk demonstrates expanded mission capabilities

With several test flights this summer, the U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk Wide Area Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System proved its ability to operate with an expanded variety of intelligence exploitation ground stations and collect mission data in more places. The RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS is built by Northrop Grumman and is equipped with a...
 
 
boeing-jordan

Boeing celebrates delivery of Royal Jordanian’s first 787 Dreamliner

  Boeing and Royal Jordanian Aug. 27 celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. The airplane will play a central role in the Amman-based airline’s strategic plan for fleet modernization. Roy...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>