Northrop Grumman Awarded $93 Million TERN Contract

24 December 2015 - Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $93.08 million contract by DARPA to develop a full scale demonstrator of the long endurance unmanned Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) air vehicle designed to fly surveillance missions from naval vessels.

Bluefin Robotics Awarded Navy Contract for Ship Hull Inspection Vehicles

15 December 2015 —The U.S. Navy recently awarded five delivery orders to Bluefin Robotics for vehicles that will increase the Navy's capability to remotely search and investigate ship hulls, harbor sea floors, and other underwater infrastructure for limpet mines, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other objects of interest. 

MQ-8C Fire Scout Completes Operational Assessment

30 November 2015 - The MQ-8C Fire Scout completed a three week operational assessment period Nov. 20 at Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu, California.

Raytheon Delivers Sonar for DARPA's Unmanned Anti-submarine Warfare Vessel

18 November 2015 - Raytheon Company completed delivery of its latest Modular Scalable Sonar System (MS3), the fifth-generation hull-mounted sonar system, for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program.

Russian Television Leaks Details on Nuclear-armed Underwater Drone

12 November 2015 - Could the "Status-6" program be the same as the Cold War-derived Kanyon unmanned underwater vehicle?

Lockheed Martin Awarded $4.6 Million Contract for the Continued Development of a Maritime Canister-Launched sUAS

3 November 2015 – Lockheed Martin was awarded a $4.6 million contract for the continued development of a maritime canister-launched small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS).

Chief of Naval Operations Stands Up Unmanned Systems Directorate

3 November 2015 - The CNO officially established its "N99" Unmanned Systems Directorate, consolidating unmanned procurement, manpower, training, and readiness resources under a single office. 

Blog - UCLASS: Breaking the Analysis Paralysis

20 October 2015 - Some naval analysts are suggesting the UCLASS program should procure two different variants. Is this a good idea?

NATO Maritime Research Arm Supports Mine-hunting Exercises

19 October 2015 - NATO's Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and its scientists are participating in the Trident Juncture mine-hunting exercise.

Indra Announces Unmanned Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft

16 October 15 - On September 29 Indra presented the unmanned version of its P2006T MRI maritime reconnaissance and intelligence aircraft at the London conference series on maritime reconnaissance.

ECA Group Awarded Contract for Mine Counter Measures AUVs

9 October 2015 - ECA Group has been awarded a new contract for the delivery of two, man portable Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) A9-M for an amount over 1 million Euros.

CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAV Assists in Rescue of 8,800 Migrants

2 October 2015 – In five months of operation, the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) saved over 8,800 lives in the Mediterranean. By spotting and monitoring distressed vessels, Schiebel’s Unmanned Air System CAMCOPTER® S-100 assisted in the rescue and contributed significantly to the success of the mission.

Royal Australian Navy to Trial ViDAR Payload for Unmanned Aircraft Systems 

30 September 2015 – Sentient today announced that the RAN has procured a license for its Kestrel Maritime ViDAR wide area maritime detection software to support RAN UAS activities.

Blog: ASW Drones - An Update

25 September 2015 - How will unmanned systems transform the future of anti-submarine warfare?

AeroVironment Eliminated from DARPA Long Range UAV Competition

22 September 2015 - AeroVironment today announced it was informed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that the company was not selected to receive a phase III contract for DARPA’s Tern program. The announcement came after a competition for the phase III contract following successful phase I and II efforts. 

SW-4 Solo Unmanned Helicopter Trials Completed

20 September 2015 - Finmeccanica AgustaWestland has announced completion of the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Rotary Wing Unmanned Aerial System (RWUAS) Capability Concept Demonstration (CCD) contract it was awarded in 2013, including 27 hours of demonstration flying and 22 automatic simulated deck landings using its SW-4 RUAS Solo technology demonstrator.

SeeByte to Demo Three Autonomy Systems at Pax River

14 September 2015 - SeeByte, a producer of smart software for unmanned maritime systems, will be attending the Pax River Event at Naval Air Station Patuxent River from the 12th to the 25th of September 2015.

Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Program Achieves Acquisition Milestone

3 September 2015 - The Naval Sea Systems Command received a risk-reduction decision approval August 17, known as a Milestone A decision, for the Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV) program.

Fire Scout Demonstrates Long Endurance Flight

25 August 2015 - Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated endurance capabilities with the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. On a planned 10+ hour flight and range out to 150 nautical miles flight from Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu; the MQ-8C Fire Scout achieved 11 hours with over an hour of fuel in reserve.

U.S. Navy Orders FirstLook Robot Systems

19 August 2015 - iRobot Corp. announced it received a $4 million order for the U.S. Navy for the company's model 110 FirstLook® robots and accessories. All deliveries under the order will be completed by February 2016.

RE2 Robotics to Develop Manipulator Arms for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

18 August 8, 2015 – RE2, Inc. announced today that the company was awarded a $2.7 Million contract by the Office of Naval Research to develop an Underwater Dexterous Manipulation System for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Applications (DMEA).

Ocean Aero Awarded DoD Contract for Long Range Unmanned Vessel

11 August 2015 - Ocean Aero has announced that it signed a multi-million dollar two-year contract with the Department of Defense under the Rapid Innovation Fund (DoD RIF) program.

Insitu Demonstrates Scan Eagle to USCG for Arctic Patrols

6 August 2015 - Launching its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft from Oliktok Point at the North Slope ofAlaska, Insitu conducted flight operations for the U.S. Coast Guard 13-15 July. 

NAVAIR Awards Insitu Another $78 Million UAS Contract

28 July 2015 - Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland has awarded Insitu Inc. a $78,000,001 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to procure six RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft systems.

Southampton Engineers Test Fly "Printed" Aircraft off HMS Mersey

24 July 2015 - A 3D printed aircraft has successfully launched off the front of a Royal Navy warship and landed safely on a Dorset beach.

CMRE's Unmanned Search & Rescue System to Debut in 2016

15 July 2015 - NATO's Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) played a crucial role in developing the maritime component of the ICARUS European search and rescue project, including enhanced autonomy and integration between Unmanned Surface Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

CMRE Demonstrates Systems for Persistent, Autonomous and Real-time Maritime Surveillance

10 July 2015 - NATO's Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) recently completed demonstrations of unmanned passive monitoring at sea as part of the PERSEUS FP7 European project.   

ARA Awarded $130.8 Million Unmanned Maritime Support Systems Contract 

9 July 2015 - Applied Research Associates Inc. (ARA) announced that it was awarded a $130.8 million, three-year contract to provide unmanned maritime systems support for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific’s (SSC PAC) Maritime Systems Division. 

Airborne Over The Horizon Targeting Options to Enable Distributed Lethality

8 July 2015 - The Navy’s surface warfare community is committed to remedying its lack of anti-surface warfare (ASuW) punch with Distributed Lethality. UAVs will play a part in future targeting efforts.

Schiebel's S-100 UAV Demonstrated to Royal Australian Navy

16 June 2015 – Schiebel´s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) has in a series of flights between 2 and 12 June 2015 successfully demonstrated its multi- sensor capability to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and other Australian Government Departments.

Blog: Find, Fix, Identify, Engage

3 June 2015 - How a covert, in-mission, full kill chain, integrated, Mine Warfare Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) could compress the Mine Warfare kill chain.

NATO Navies Complete Multi-AUV Minehunting Exercise

31 May 2015 - NATO's Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, along with colleagues from the Royal Netherlands Navy Defence Diving Group, Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence (EGUERMIN) and UK Royal Navy Maritime Autonomous Systems Trials Team (MASTT), recently completed underwater trials of multiple mine-hunting robots in the North Sea.

Navy Looks for Industry Support to Develop Underwater Docking Stations

22 May 2015 - Both the Office of Naval Research and Navy Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport have recently issued industry solicitations for help in developing unmanned underwater vehicle recharging and data transmission stations.

XTAR Provides Capacity for Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Testing

22 May 2015 -  LLC was awarded a 12-month indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a one year option, by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to support testing of its MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle. XTAR will provide space segment capacity to the Patuxent, MD-based command center for the contract with an estimated value of $1.8M.

Senate Bill Cuts Funds for Lockheed's Remote Minehunting System

15 May 2015 - In the Senate Armed Services Committee Markup of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 released yesterday, Lockheed Martin's Remote Minehunting System (RMS) faces a $65.6 million cut.

Navy Seeks Industry Help For JHSV Modular Boat Ramp for Unmanned Systems 

13 May 2015 - The U.S. Navy has issued a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) solicitation to identify a company to develop a Modular Boat Ramp (MBR) to launch and retrieve manned and unmanned watercraft from the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV).

Orbital Corp Supplies New ScanEagle Fuel Module

12 May 2015 - Orbital Corporation Limited is pleased to announce the new generation ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is expected to include an advanced fuel and oil supply module designed by Orbital as part of the propulsion system assembly included with the new Orbital UAV engine.

22 April 2015 - The Navy conducted an autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) flight test with the X-47B today off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, marking the first time an unmanned aircraft has received fuel airborne using the probe-and-drogue method.

X-47B Salty Dog 502 engages the refueling probe of an Omega Air Refueling contracted aircraft. - Navair Video

Robot Ethics and Future War

15 April 2015 - Some thoughts on just war doctrine and robotics by the esteemed Captain Wayne P. Hughes. 

ONR Tests Autonomous, Swarming UAVs

13 April 2015  — The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today recent technology demonstrations of swarming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — part of the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program.

Drones on the Front Lines of the South China Sea

13 April 2015 - Will the growing numbers of UAVs flying near disputed Pacific Islands lead to war or minimize the possibility of it happening?

Boeing Acquires 2d3 Sensing for $25 Million

ST. LOUIS, Apr. 10, 2015 – Boeing has acquired 2d3 Sensing, a wholly owned subsidiary of OMG plc specializing in motion imagery processing of critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data generated from aerial platforms.

Coast Guard to Team with Industry on Unmanned Air System Research

8 April 2015 - According to the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will enter into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, with the ConocoPhillips Company to evaluate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

OPINION: UCLASS Requirements – Some Contrarian Viewpoints

6 April 2015 - Controversy continues to swirl around the Navy's unmanned carrier-based aircraft program. Should it be optimized for strike? ISR? Something altogether different?

Italian Navy Clears WWII Bombs with the Help of Unmanned Systems

2 April 2015 - The Italian Navy (Marina Militare) has cleared four pieces of unexploded ordnance between the southern Tirrenian Sea and the northern Ionian Sea in the past week.

SeeByte Successfully Completes Autonomous Ocean Sampling Demo

1 April 2015 - SeeByte has successfully completed a demonstration of its Phase 1 contract awarded by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). The program provides a flexible Autonomy Framework for the range of oceanographic and environmental scenarios outlined in the SBRI Adaptive Autonomous Ocean Sampling Networks (AAOSN) request.

Thales Wins UK-French Mine Countermeasures Contract

27 March 2015 - The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and UK MOD’s Defence Equipment & Support organisation, OCCAr1 have awarded the Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) contract to Thales, in collaboration with BAE Systems and their partners in France (ECA) and in the UK (ASV, Wood & Douglas, SAAB).

DARPA Seeks Automated Lookout Technology for Anti-sub Drone

26 March 2015 - DARPA is seeking automated technologies to help its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program abide by the rules of the road while underway.

Senator McCain Weighs in on UCLASS Requirements

25 March 2015 - The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee argues for a more capable UCLASS in a letter to the Secretary of Defense.

DARPA Awards Prime Contracts for TERN UAV

24 March 15 - DARPA has awarded prime contracts for Phase 2 of TERN, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) to AeroVironment, Inc., and Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Reliance Group Partners with SAAB on Indian UAV Program

22 March 2015 - The Anil Ambani-led Reliance and Defense Aerospace Group has partnered with SAAB to respond to a tender to produce up to 50 ship-launched unmanned helicopters.  

BLOG: Can Small Autonomous Vehicles Work at Sea?

17 March 2015 - Researchers are testing mini-underwater unmanned vehicles in an ocean environment. But can they do real work?

Marine Corps Announces Unmanned Pilot Officer Specialty

16 March 2015 - In a recent "MARADMIN" message, the Deputy Commandant for Aviation directed the establishment of a Marine Occupational Specialty (MOS) for Unmanned Air Systems.

Exploring Unmanned System Autonomy in the DoD

16 March 2015 - A Naval Postgraduate student discusses the finer points of autonomy in unmanned military systems.

Sentient Awarded Contract for Kestrel EO/IR Automated Detection Software for NAVAIR MQ-8 Fire Scout Program

9 March 2015Sentient has delivered the first Kestrel automated detection software to NAVAIR for use within the Mission Control System package for the MQ-8 Fire Scout.

Scan Eagle Tested On Spanish Amphibious Assault Ship

4 March 2015 - The Spanish Navy has completed a series of successful sea trials of the Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) aboard the amphibious assault ship SPS Galicia (L-51). (VIDEO)

SeeByte to Provide UK MOD with Autonomy Demonstration 

3 March 2015 - SeeByte has announced an order from the United Kingdom's (UK) Ministry Of Defence (MOD) Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) to deliver a maritime autonomy demonstration system.

Navy Discusses Future Fire Scout Capabilities

24 February 2015 - The U.S. Navy will test a number of new offensive upgrades to the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter system over the next several years to include BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System pictured above.

Researchers Look to Nature for Inspiration

13 February 2015 - A scientist explores how emulating a horseshoe crab's shell could make a viable surf zone robot.

Navy Research Lab Unveils Firefighting Robot

4 February 2015 - The Naval Research Laboratory has unveiled its Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) after recent realistic testing. SAFFiR is a bipedal, humanoid robot designed to help researchers evaluate how unmanned systems can support Sailors with damage control aboard naval vessels.

Huntington Ingalls Industries Buys UUV Builder

30 January 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that it has acquired the Engineering Solutions Division of The Columbia Group, a leading designer and builder of unmanned underwater vehicles for domestic and international customers.

 Photo courtesy of ASV. ASV's C-Enduro unmanned surface vehicle  

SeeByte Awarded Contract for Ocean Sampling Networks 

30 January 2015 - SeeByte has been awarded a contract by the UK's Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). This contract is to undertake work in collaboration with Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV), a manufacturer of unmanned marine systems, and the Marine Biological Association of the UK.

Kutta Technologies Develops Technology for Autonomous Aerial Resupply

30 January 2015 - Kutta Technologies announced today that they are a key member on the Office of the Naval Research’s (ONR) Autonomous Aerial Cargo Unmanned Resupply System (AACUS) team.

Leidos Anti-submarine Warfare Drone Surrogate Completes Voyage

26 January 2015 - Leidos announced today that its prototype maritime autonomy system for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA)'s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program recently completed its first self-guided voyage between Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi.  

Raytheon acquires Tucson-based Sensintel, Inc.

26 January 2015 - Raytheon Company has acquired privately-held Sensintel, Inc., a leading provider of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) solutions to the intelligence and special operations markets.

Image Courtesy of CoCoRo Project

Austrian Researchers Demonstrate Largest Underwater Robot Swarm

12 January 2015 - Researchers at Austria's University of Graz have demonstrated the largest collection of swarming autonomous underwater vehicles with their Collective Cognitive Robots (CoCoRo) project.  A total of 41 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) were assembled for recent swarm testing at the university's Artificial Life Lab.

RQ-4 Variants Set Weekly Flight Hour Record

7 January 2015 – Air Force, Navy, and NASA variants of Northrop Grumman Corporation's High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) series recently flew more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission hours in one week than ever before.

Navy to Establish UCLASS Fleet Introduction Team

5 January 2015 - The U.S. Navy recently approved the establishment of the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) Fleet Introduction Team (FIT) to be based at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, California.  

Target Drone Washes Up in Philippines

5 January 2015 - A U.S. Navy BQM-74E target drone washed up on the tiny island of Patnanungan, Quezon, Philippines on Sunday.  

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