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.


 
 

 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph

Boeing, Embraer to collaborate on ecoDemonstrator technology tests

U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph Frederico Curado, president & CEO of Embraer, and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The event occurred during an offici...
 
 
LM-Legion

Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod™ takes to skies

Lockheed Martin photograph by Randy Crites Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod recently completed its first flight test, successfully tracking multiple airborne targets while flying on an F-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Legion Pod was in...
 
 

Raytheon wins U.S. Army contract award

Will provide R&D for ground vehicles, ground robotics The U.S. Army Contracting Command ñ Warren recently awarded Raytheon the TACOM Strategic Service Solutions indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. The five-year multiple-award vehicle has a ceiling value of $634 million. The agreement covers future work on sensors, fire control systems, active protection systems, and robotics...
 

 

Lockheed Martin’s EW pod delivers proven ability to protect, control electromagnetic spectrum

Lockheed Martin is testing an electronic warfare pod in the company’s advanced anechoic chamber. The pod is designed to fit a variety of platforms, and is a self-contained electronic warfare package, encompassing an entire suite of capabilities in one unit.  Electronic warfare is the art and science of controlling the electromagnetic spectrum—from jamming enemy communications...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Northrop, Navy successfully conduct E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aerial refueling CDR

Northrop Grumman photograph An E-2C test aircraft assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 conducts an aerial refueling dry-plug engagement with an F/A-18. Northrop Grumman along with the U.S. Navy have successfully...
 
 

Northrop, Navy celebrate legacy of EA-6B Prowler

Northrop Grumman photograph by Edgar Mills The U.S. Navy’s last operational EA-6B Prowler, designed and built by Northrop Grumman, lifts off from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. in a ceremonial fly-away June 27 from its long time operational base. The Navy is retiring the Prowler after nearly 45 years of service.   The U.S....
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>