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Unmanned Aerial System A Step Closer

The introduction of the MUAS will reduce the operational burden on Air Force's P-3C Orion maritime patrol fleet (pictured).
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Jul 31, 2006
I am pleased to announce that the Government has moved a step closer to a $1b to $1.5b project for Defence to obtain a Multi-mission Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS). First pass approval has been granted to allow Defence to commence formal negotiations to participate with the United States Navy in the cooperative development of a MUAS capability.

This exciting new capability signals a change in the way Australia will undertake maritime surveillance and reconnaissance in the future. The MUAS capability can operate up to 18 km above the earth's surface, thousands of kilometers from home and for periods exceeding 24 hours.

The high altitude, long range, all weather operation of the MUAS provides Defence with an important surveillance capability. It could play a significant role in the patrolling of such areas as the North West Shelf, the sea-air gap to the North as well as Australia's Antarctic territories.

The introduction of the MUAS will reduce the operational burden on Air Force's P-3C Orion maritime patrol fleet until the aircraft's planned withdrawal from service around 2015 to 2018. Under Project AIR 7000 the existing manned maritime patrol capability will be replaced with a mix of both unmanned and manned aircraft. Phase 2 of AIR 7000 will focus on determining whether to refurbish or replace the AP-3C Orion fleet.

The United States Navy MUAS capability has direct linkages to the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program. The cooperative development of the MUAS may provide significant global supply opportunities for Australian industry as well as influence the development of the BAMS Program. Government will evaluate these benefits when making a decision in late 2007 on whether or not to enter into a cooperative program with the US Navy.

The project is expected to provide significant opportunities for Australian industry. Defence intends to engage closely with Australian industry on the development of an Integrated Ground Environment for MUAS control and fusion of sensor information.

Local industry participation will be a key requirement.

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Mediaware Awarded Contract For North West Shelf UAV Trial
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Jul 27, 2006
Mediaware has announced that it has been awarded a contract by the Australian Department of Defence for its D-VEX Digital Video Exploitation System. D-VEX will be acquired and deployed by the Australian Department of Defence in the forthcoming North West Shelf Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) surveillance trials scheduled for September 2006.







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