Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tatical UAV for Australian Army in 2009

I-View unmanned aerial vehicle making a precision parafoil landingThe Australian Army will take delivery of Tactical UAVS in 2009:

The Defence Materiel Organisation has signed contracts with Boeing Australia Limited for the delivery and support of a Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) capability for the Army.

Boeing Australia, teamed with Israel Aircraft Industries, will provide the I-View UAV system. I-View has a wingspan of 6.7 metres and has a fully automatic take-off and landing system that dramatically increases operational reliability. Its catapult launcher and unique parafoil landing concept enable it to be deployed and recovered from an uneven area smaller than a football field. ...

The Army’s TUAVs will be operated by 132 Battery, of the 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment, which is based at Gallipoli Barracks in Enoggera. The introduction of the TUAVs in the Brisbane area is anticipated to create over 125 jobs in the region. ...

From: Contract Signature For Acquisition Of Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles For Army, Defence Media Release, 14/12/2006, CPA 369/06

video of Tactical UAV testingThe I-View uses a catapult to take off and a parachute to land. It has a 6.7m wingspan, weighs 165 kg, carries up to 30kg of sensors and can fly for eight hours at around 85 knots, powered by a piston propeller engine.

What is more interesting is that according to Asia-Pacific Reporter, the Amy will be able to receive images direct from the i-view in the field. However, from the photos available, the on consoles seem to need a truck to transport them. These are not the pocket size PDA devices I was suggesting.

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