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Mexico flies Arcturus fixed-wing VTOL UAV
by Richard Tomkins
New Orleans (UPI) May 3, 2016

Aervironment intros new sensor payload for Puma UAS
New Orleans (UPI) May 3, 2016 -A new electro-optical/infrared gimbal sensor payload for Puma AE unmanned aircraft has been announced by AeroVironment Inc.

"The Mantis i45 represents a dramatic leap in small UAS image resolution and approaches capabilities inherent in platforms many times the size and cost of Puma AE," Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment's Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment said at the Unmanned Vehicle Systems International XPONENTIAL 2016 conference and trade show in Louisiana.

"This enhanced capability enables commercial and military users to see more and farther, with greater detail, than ever before, make better decisions and perform their missions with greater certainty.

"The AeroVironment Mantis i45 represents a significant increase in performance for Puma AE intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions."

Aerovironment said the Mantis i45 enables more accurate identification of targets from greater distances. Higher resolution imagery also aids in target analysis.

The gimbal payload features include an advanced suite of sensors, including ultra-high-resolution EO and IR imagers, dual-color cameras, improved IR imagery, a new low-light camera; a 50-times zoom in EO; optional onboard storage of high definition video and high-resolution stills.

"With its increased capability, we worked to ensure the high reliability that our customers expect from the i45," Flittie said, "and this design meets more rigorous standards than any previous Puma AE payload."

Arcturus UAV reports that the Mexican Navy is using its T-20 JUMP fixed-wing, vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicle.

The fixed-wing VTOL UAV, with an electro-optical/infrared payload, has been conducting unspecified operations since its procurement earlier this year, the California-based company said.

The T-20 JUMP is a VTOL variant of Arcturus' catapult launched T-20 platform. It operates without any special launch or recovery equipment, has a gross payload capacity of 60 pounds and a 75-mile data link range. Fight endurance time of T-20 aircraft: between 11 and 15 hours, depending on variant.

Mexico has operated a fleet of catapult-launched T-20s since 2014.

Arcturus says it is offering the T-20 JUMP VTOL platform for a U.S. Special Operations Command and a heavy fuel version of the T-20 JUMP to the Royal Australian Navy.

The announcement of Mexico's use of the T-20 JUMP VTOL was made at an industry conference and exhibition this week in Louisiana.

Raytheon speeds up drone deliveries
New Orleans (UPI) May 3, 2016 -Raytheon reports it is ramping up deliveries of its small unmanned aerial systems to military customers as a result of increasing demand.

It has also opened a new UAS directorate within its Advanced Missile Systems product line in Tucson, Ariz., to integrate company-wide expertise in small UAS airframe and integration, with mission payload, command and control technology.

"Demand for our UAS platforms continues to grow as we deliver innovative unmanned solutions to a wide range of customers," said Dr. Thomas R. Bussing, vice president of Raytheon's Advanced Missile Systems product line.

"This new directorate links company talents in aerodynamic design, propulsion systems, ground stations and a variety of mission payloads into one team that will enable us to deliver even better solutions to our customers."

Raytheon manufactures the Coyote and Silver Fox UAS platforms.

The Coyote is a tube-launched expendable drone for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, missions.

The system has an endurance of one hour and can carry a variety of payloads. It is used by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for hurricane tracking and has completed flight tests under multiple U.S. Department of Defense programs.

The Silver Fox, transportable by a sports utility vehicle, is a system for real-time intelligence and long-range aerial endurance capabilities of a larger UAS. It features a moveable or fixed electro-optic and infrared sensors, and can obtain intelligence from multiple other systems.

"We are focused on tactical, expeditionary systems, providing users with cost-effective, affordable solutions that can be operated organically with a very minimal logistics footprint," said Pete Mangelsdorf, Raytheon Unmanned Aircraft Systems director.

"We are heavily engaged in UAS autonomy and MUM-T, or manned-unmanned teaming, as we continue to expand in this market space."

Additional details of SUAS production and the new directorate were not given.

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