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ADF To Be Equipped With New Long Range Tactical UAV Fleet

File photo of an I-View UAV

Canberra, Australia (SPX) Dec 13, 2005
The Australian Defence Force will be equipped with a fleet of long range tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to be used as Army's 'eyes in the sky' which will play a crucial intelligence and surveillance role in Australia combined arms force, Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced.

Senator Hill said the Government had agreed to the $145 million UAV project to provide the Army with a high precision day and night surveillance and targeting capability with accompanying ground systems.

The tactical UAVs will provide wide-ranging surveillance with advanced retractable sensor technology to work closely with the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter to support operations on the battlefield.

Boeing Australia has been selected as the preferred tenderer to provide the Israel Aircraft Industries I-View UAV system because it offered the best value for money.

A new Army regiment will operate the tactical UAVs at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, in Queensland. Boeing Australia will provide the through-life-support for the UAV systems, generating around 125 new jobs in the Brisbane area.

The first tactical UAVs are expected to be in operational service in 2008. They will complement the ADF's layered UAV system of short-range miniature Skylark UAVs that are being deployed to Iraq and the High Altitude Long Endurance Maritime UAV that is to be purchased under Project Air 7000.

"The I-View has a fully automatic take-off and landing system that dramatically increases operational reliability. Its catapult launcher and unique parafoil landing concept enables it to be deployed and recovered from an uneven area smaller than a football field.

"This capability, which includes real time video, will enable 24-hour surveillance for the protection of Australian forces as well as the identification of enemy targets.

"All Australian tenderers provided innovative and competitive proposals, demonstrating the maturity of Australian industry in this emerging field.

"The Government is investing on more research and development of unmanned vehicle technology for use in future operations and for surveillance purposes.

"UAVs are an increasingly important part of the modern battlefield, particularly because they increase the troop's ability to detect, respond and remain informed of activities across a wide area. This information can then be used to warn our troops and help them avoid potentially dangerous situations."

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Lockheed Martin To Build High Altitude Airship For MDA
Akron, Ohio (SPX) Dec 12, 2005
Lockheed Martin will build a prototype High Altitude Airship (HAA) under a $149.2 million contract awarded by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). This contract marks the beginning of the program's third phase, leading to prototype delivery and flight in 2009.

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