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Drones and Unmanned Systems - Air, Sea, Land, Micro & Robot Systems
BAE SYSTEMS SECURES MAJOR MINE NEUTRALIZER CONTRACT WITH U.S. NAVY
Monday, September 21, 2020
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.Source: BAE Systems


Source: BAE Systems


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LONDON -- BAE Systems has been awarded a contract worth up to £87 million ($111 million) by the US Department of Defense to manufacture and deliver Archerfish mine neutralizers for the U.S. Navy.

This is the fourth consecutive Archerfish contract awarded to BAE Systems since 2003 and will see the Company deliver to the U.S. Navy over the next seven years.

Archerfish is a remote-controlled underwater mine neutralizer that can be launched and operated from a surface ship, helicopter or an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). Its fiber optic data link relays real-time, high resolution, low-light video and high frequency sonar pictures of targets of interest from its on-board sensors. The design reduces the time it takes to identify and neutralize targets, meaning clearance missions can be completed more quickly. Archerfish also protects personnel by eliminating the need to put divers into the water.

Archerfish is used by the US Navy's MH-60S Helicopter squadrons (AN/ASQ-235) as part of the Airborne Mine Neutralisation capability, deployed from the Littoral Combat Ship.

Under the new contract Archerfish will continue to support the US Navy in live mine clearance operations and also provide capability to conduct training exercises between now and 2027.

The contract also includes the supply of fiber optic spool kits, support equipment, surveys, repairs and program management and support, which will be provided by the Archerfish project team based in Portsmouth, UK.

Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems' Maritime Services business, said: "This contract builds on our strong partnership with the U.S. Navy which has seen BAE Systems supporting its minesweeping operations for almost two decades. Archerfish not only helps to keep sailors safer, it also reduces the number and cost of mine clearance missions. Its world-leading capability and outstanding service with the US Navy makes Archerfish a highly attractive proposition to other major naval forces around the world."

Developed by BAE Systems under its own investment, Archerfish draws on the Company's extensive expertise in underwater effectors. Archerfish uses a flexible, open architecture command and control system that can be operated on its own or integrated into a higher-level command management structure. Wireless communications mean it can be deployed remotely.

Investments continue to be made to enhance Archerfish to meet future mine countermeasure challenges and reduce the through-life cost of the system. Innovative fusing will allow it to be recovered and reused and an automatic target recognition function is being developed that will allow concurrent multi-shot Archerfish operations, enabling mines to be neutralized in waves.

Archerfish is manufactured in the UK at BAE Systems’ Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and Hillend facility in Dunfermline, Fife. The contract with the U.S. Department of Defense secures 30 highly skilled jobs in BAE Systems in Portsmouth and Fife and further jobs in the UK supply chain.

Source:  BAE Systems
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
ECA GROUP REACHES MILESTONE BELGIAN NAVY AND ROYAL NETHERLANDS NAVY MINE WARFARE CONTRACT
Monday, September 21, 2020
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Inspector 125

.Source: ECA Group


Inspector 125

Source: ECA Group


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PARIS -- ECA Robotics has signed a contract worth several hundred million euros. This contract comprises the outsourcing to its Belgian subsidiary ECA Robotics Belgium of the manufacturing and delivery of unmanned vehicles dedicated to the underwater mine counter measures as part of the renewal of the mine countermeasures capacity.

Belgium and the Netherlands have awarded the renewal program to the consortium Belgium Naval & Robotics, set up by Naval Group and ECA Group. This program consists of 12 new generation vessels (six for the Belgian Navy and six for the Royal Netherlands Navy) and containerized systems.

It is the first program that applies the stand-off concept by using a Toolbox. This Toolbox is comprised of several unmanned vehicles that operators can command and deploy from a safe distance in order to carry out autonomous mine clearance missions.

The contract that ECA Robotics France awards to ECA Robotics Belgium involves the manufacturing, supplying and delivery of the following products:

-- The USV INSPECTOR 125-M: surface drone capable of deploying all of the Toolbox elements in a specific zone

-- The USV INSPECTOR 125-S: surface drone able to tow a sweep system for mine clearance

-- The sweep system which will be equipped with magnetic and acoustic modules

-- The AUV A18-M: underwater drone integrating the synthetic aperture sonar UMISAS used for mine detection

-- Towed sonar T18-M: sonar towed by the USV and which also detects mines

-- MIDS system (Mine Identification and Disposal System) consisting of the SEASCAN MK2 and the K-STER C. These two components respectively ensure the identification and the clearance of the mines

-- Transfer and integration of the UMISOFT software for the management of the mission and data analysis

-- Supply of UAV V200 Skeldar aerial drones with integrated payloads (LiDAR, optronics pod) for the detection and identification of surface mines, and communication relay

-- Acceptance tests and trials for the systems

-- Training

-- Program management.

The unmanned vehicles will be manufactured in a new, very modern plant to be built in Ostend, Belgium. Building will start early 2021 so that production can commence in 2022.

ECA Robotics Belgium will recruit about 70 people in Belgium to achieve the production for the contract that will take circa 10 years to complete. In addition, ECA Robotics Belgium will be able to perform maintenance on drones at the plant upon delivery of the first drones.

Source:  ECA Group
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
VOLOCOPTER PARTNERS WITH SCHENKER FOR HEAVY-LIFT DRONES
Monday, September 21, 2020
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VoloDrone

.Source: Volocopter


VoloDrone

Source: Volocopter


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BERLIN -- German urban air mobility startup, Volocopter, has teamed up with DB Schenker, a logistics group, to deploy Volocopter's heavy-lift drones. The joint project is tasked with gathering practical flying experience that will be vital for the rollout of Volocity, the air taxi by Volocopter. Additionally, the research done by the pair will be important for cargo drones, namely the VoloDrone. The remote-controlled VoloDrone can lift a load of up to 200 kilograms and has a range of 40 kilometers. The range and cargo capacity make the drone ideal for strong range transport of medical supplies and manufacturing components.

Schenker picked Volocopter after funding the company 87 million euros in a funding round that took place in February. This was one of the largest portions of the total 122 million euros in funding from investors. Schenker believes drones are the future of supply chains for city logistics.

Volocopter is expected to receive full certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency towards the end of 2022.

Source:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-aviation-volocopter/air-taxi-firm-volocopter-teams-up-with-schenker-to-deploy-heavy-lift-drones-idUKKCN26C0SI

 

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