World’s Most Affordable Tactical Jet Aircraft – the Textron AirLand Scorpion

The Scorpion armed reconnaissance jet from Textron Aviation is one-of-a-kind. No other tactical aircraft like it is currently in existence. The manufacturer took it upon itself to develop a unique aircraft to meet a specific need in the market no other aircraft could fulfill. In their confidence, they decided to use their own money against the norm for military aircraft development.

Typically, the government foots most of the bill and becomes the first user. But the Scorpion is not a typical aircraft. It can be built right in the US and then easily exported to countries all around the world.

At a quarter of the price of an expensive F-16, the Scorpion can cover border patrol, maritime security, drug interdiction, disaster relief, and counter-insurgency warfare roles. It may not have all the bells and whistles of a fully loaded fighter jet, but that is one of many reasons it is such an impressive aircraft.

The Textron AirLand Scorpion is an American jet aircraft proposed for sale to perform light attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) duties. It is being developed by Textron AirLand, a joint venture between Textron and AirLand Enterprises. A prototype was secretly constructed by Cessna at their Wichita, Kansas facility between April 2012 and September 2013 and first flown on 12 December 2013.

Development

In October 2011, a group of outside investors known as AirLand Enterprises LLC approached Textron with the concept of building the “world’s most affordable tactical jet aircraft.” The two companies created a joint venture called Textron AirLand and development of an aircraft began in January 2012. Neither Textron nor its subsidiaries had much experience designing fixed-wing combat aircraft. Textron saw a market for the type: while military aircraft typically grew more expensive, defense budgets declined.

Named Scorpion, the first concept had a single engine. In early 2012, engineers reviewed over 12 design configurations that would meet their goals and shortlisted four designs; the team eventually settled on the tandem-seat, twin-engine configuration.

The aircraft was kept secret, being identified by the code name SCV12-1, or simply “the project”. At its peak, the production team was 200 people, which eventually decreased to 170, including 120 engineers. The outside contours were made in May 2012, and wing production started in August 2012. Unconventionally, wind tunnel tests were performed after wing parts were already being made. In a traditional aircraft development program, the Department of Defense or a military service would issue detailed requirements, potentially hundreds of pages long. Instead, Textron AirLand did a market and capability analysis to determine what domestic and foreign forces required but did not have.

The design team made up of personnel from Textron, Cessna, and Bell Helicopter was assembled in one building with everyone focused on the task, enabling decisions to be made in hours instead of days. To not alert any potential competitors, development was kept secret through non-disclosure agreements, obtaining parts from local suppliers, and the natural close-knit, “small town” nature of Wichita, Kansas. Technology from the Cessna inventory or other existing, readily-available components and hardware were used. In November, Textron spokesman David Sylvestre confirmed that Cessna had been involved in building the prototype Scorpion, but may not build any production models. Sylvestre stated, “depending on demand and manufacturing capacity needs, the final site of Scorpion manufacturing beyond the initial low rate production (2015) is yet to be decided. It may be built ‘at’ Cessna, but by the joint venture called Textron AirLand.”

The Scorpion was unveiled on 16 September 2013

In 2014, the development-to-flight time was expected to take 4–5 years, the goal of the first flight within at least 24 months was achieved. The phrase “speed is paramount” serves as impetus for the program, with the objective of creating the plane, flying it, and selling it as fast as possible to not miss opportunities. If a customer can be found, production could begin in 2015, and deliveries from 15 to 18 months after an order is received. The plan is to secure a contract first, then begin low-rate production and transition to full-rate production. Textron AirLand sees a market for up to 2,000 Scorpion jets.

Sources: YouTube: Wikipedia

OhioHealth to Use Zipline for Drone Delivery of Medications, Lab Work, Supplies

OhioHealth has announced a partnership with Zipline, the world’s largest autonomous delivery service, to integrate Zipline’s fully electric drone delivery into OhioHealth’s network.

Using Zipline’s newly-introduced Platform 2, OhioHealth will bring prescriptions directly to patients’ homes and move lab samples and supplies between OhioHealth facilities. By 2025, the partnership is expected to form an initial network capable of reaching nearly 2 million people in the greater Columbus area with fast, quiet and sustainable drone delivery.

This innovative partnership will improve patients’ experiences thanks to faster diagnostic turnaround times, more convenient direct-to-home prescription delivery that improves access to care, and reduced carbon emissions through Zipline’s fully electric platform.

“Zipline drone delivery provides a great alternative for OhioHealth as we look to grow our home infusion and specialty pharmacy home delivery services. It gets products to patients more quickly and at a lower cost, and uses less carbon intensive packing materials compared to our traditional delivery methods,”

said OhioHealth Vice President of Pharmacy Services Charles McCluskey III.

“We are constantly looking at how to optimize the logistics of OhioHealth’s network of acute and non-acute points of care,” said OhioHealth Senior Director of Logistics/Sterile Processing Joshua Dritz. “And with our initial Zipline deployment, focused on the laboratory operations, we will significantly cut the time it takes to process lab samples and diagnostics, giving our physicians the information they need to make informed decisions faster.”

OhioHealth will also be able to move urgently needed supplies and equipment to care sites using the drones and can envision several incremental use cases for this innovative mode of transportation. Zipline’s platform is sustainable, with internal research finding its first platform reduces emissions by up to 97% compared to traditional automotive delivery methods.

“We’re able to move lab samples between facilities in minutes and at a moment’s notice, instead of the hours it can currently take. That time savings is invaluable at every stage of the healthcare journey and can mean that people get diagnosed and treated faster, leading to better health outcomes,” said Hillary Brendzel, Head of Zipline’s U.S. Healthcare Practice. “Our service is sustainable, reliable, and already proven to improve people’s health and save lives. It’s designed to be so quiet that it blends into the background of life. We’re thrilled to partner with OhioHealth on bringing our innovations to the people they serve across the state.”

OhioHealth will use Zipline’s next-generation Platform 2, which uses autonomous, electric Zipline drones (Zips) to make fast, extremely quiet, ultraprecise deliveries to rural, suburban, and even dense urban areas across the region. Zipline’s home delivery service is expected to deliver up to seven times faster than traditional automobile delivery, completing 10-mile deliveries in about 10 minutes.

Unlike other drone delivery services, Zips fly more than 300 feet above the ground and are nearly inaudible. When the Zip arrives at its destination, it hovers safely and quietly at that altitude, while its fully autonomous delivery droid maneuvers down a tether, steers to the correct location, and gently drops off its package to areas as small as a patio table or the front steps of a home.

Recent third-party studies have shown that Zipline’s system helps save lives, increase care, and improves patient outcomes. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found an 88% reduction of in-hospital maternal deaths from to postpartum hemorrhage as a result of Zipline’s logistics and delivery system, meaning that more mothers are alive today because they were at a medical facility that relied on Zipline. Several organizations in the U.S. have already signed on to use Zipline’s Platform 2 system including sweetgreen, Michigan Medicine, MultiCare Health Systems, Intermountain Health, GNC and more.

Zipline is a key part of OhioHealth’s efforts to decarbonize its services and improve access to care with equitable and community-based approaches.

Source: Press Release

Pierce Aerospace and DRONERESPONDERS Working Together on Remote ID

Pierce Aerospace announced that it has partnered with DRONERESPONDERS, the world’s largest and leading non-profit program dedicated to advancing and educating Public Safety’s use of drones.

DRONERESPONDERS has over 8,500 members representing over 87 countries and more than 1300 public safety agencies represented in its Global Public Safety Drone Dashboard. Pierce Aerospace is a global leader in Remote ID technology and has led Remote ID developments since 2017 with dozens of Remote ID integrations and multiple Remote ID contracts with the US Air Force. As part of the new partnership, Pierce Aerospace and DRONERESPONDERS will form a Remote ID working group composed of DRONERESPONDERS members from diverse organizational backgrounds.

Pierce Aerospace and DRONERESPONDERS mutually agree to develop this Remote ID Working Group to better capture public safety end-user feedback related to Remote ID technology and use cases. This Working Group will comprise of 12-15 DRONERESPONDERS organizational members, with one representative from the chosen organizational member and their alternate. DRONERESPONDERS will choose the organizational members to participate in the working group. Both Pierce Aerospace and DRONERESPONDERS agree that this group will be composed of a diverse group of first responder organizations and will meet at least once a month. This volunteer working group accelerates industry innovation and enhances the public safety UAS mission.

“Charles Werner and I have been discussing Remote ID and a dedicated public safety Remote ID Working Group for some time, and we are happy to make this announcement,” said Aaron Pierce, CEO of Pierce Aerospace. “I grew up with public safety and knew from day one that Remote ID was a critical asset for ensuring the success of public safety airspace missions. There is no better public safety drone partner than DRONERESPONDERS and their network of over 8,500 members. We look forward to this partnership and working with this Remote ID Working Group as a forum for more closely engaging with public safety end users – their mission is crucial. Our duty as a Remote ID and airspace infrastructure provider is to engage with those users and aid them in accomplishing their missions.”

“As director of DRONERESPONDERS, I am excited to partner with Pierce Aerospace and Aaron Pierce to create a Public Safety Remote ID working group to collect input and collaborate with public safety to maximize how Remote ID can be used and benefit public safety.  Pierce Aerospace has an exceptional reputation as a leader in the area of technology and is committed to ensuring that Remote ID will deliver the most benefit possible for public safety,”

said Chief Charles L. Werner (Ret.).

“UAS are a part of daily life. Over 5,000 public safety agencies have adopted a UAS program in the United States alone, and all public safety agencies need the ability to respond to UAS-related calls. We must engage with Public Safety organizations as we roll out Remote ID infrastructure,” said Pierce. “It is an honor that DRONERESPONDERS chose to work with Pierce Aerospace to set up this vital Remote ID working group, and we look forward to continuing to provide Remote ID solutions to public safety organizations in the United States and worldwide.”

Pierce Aerospace’s Flight Portal ID (FPID) Remote ID suit consists of Remote ID beacons, Remote ID receivers, mobile applications – including public safety-specific applications, and supporting backend Remote ID services that are compliant with the ASTM F3411-22 Remote ID Standard and the FAA’s Remote ID Rule. Pierce Aerospace’s Remote ID systems support public safety and United States National Security operations.

Through its parent organization AIRT, DRONERESPONDERS has partnered with AUVSI and Commercial UAV Expo to provide national public safety UAS conferences, and hosts the most extensive public safety UAS resource repository in the world, with more than 800 guidance documents available to members. DRONERESPONDERS maintains additional partnerships with the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST), NASA, and MITRE to advance the NIST Standard Test Methods for Public Safety UAS, NASA’s public safety CONOPS and UAS applications in wildfire operations, and MITRE’s public safety training curriculum standard. DRONERESPONDERS has worked with the FAA and public safety agencies to develop Tactical Beyond Visual Line of Sight (TBVLOS) waivers, granted to more than 300 public safety agencies, and recently created a Drone as a First Responder (DFR) working group which has supported many new DFR programs.

This new Remote ID working group with Pierce Aerospace intends to follow this prosperous heritage and leadership track record of DRONERESPONDERS advancing the public safety UAS mission.

Photo: Christopher Todd – Executive Director AIRT, Aaron Pierce – CEO Pierce Aerospace, and Charles Werner – Director DRONERESPONDERS, pictured at the FAA Symposium. 

Source: Press Release

 

Skyhawk Aerospace Reveals Pushpak and C35-E UAVs

India’s Skyhawk Aerospace showcased its indigenously designed fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) multirole Pushpak and C35-E unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the 4th Drone International Expo held in Delhi on 26 and 27 July.

The Pushpak is a tactical UAV designed to conduct high-altitude cargo operations. The UAV features a skid landing gear system and can fly up to a maximum altitude of 5,700 m in what company CEO Jayesh A described as “near gale conditions” and at temperatures between -30° C and +55° C.

Speaking to Janes , Jayesh said,

“The development of the UAV started in November 2020 primarily to support cargo operations based on the inputs given by [the] Army Design Bureau (ADB).”

The design of the Pushpak includes shoulder-mounted moderately tapered straight wings spanning a length of 6.28 m, a twin-boom-mounted tail that has vertical stabilisers joined by a horizontal stabiliser at the top, and a hook placed beneath the fuselage near the wing section to carry the cargo.

The UAV has twin booms in the inner wing section ending in the tail and each of these is fitted with four electrically powered rotors (two upwards and two downwards), which enable VTOL operations. Forward flight is enabled by a pusher propeller driven by an 80 hp turboshaft engine with a total fuel capacity of 20 litres.

The engine is being imported from a European manufacturer with time between overhauls of around 1,000 hours.

Top Photo: Skyhawk Aerospace C35-E VTOL UAV displayed at the 4th Drone International Expo 2023. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Source: Janes

 

Russia is Already Making Iranian Drones with Slight Differences

The Russian Federation already uses kamikaze drones of its own production based on Iranian Shahed for strikes on Ukraine: we will explain what is known about them…

At the beginning of July of this year, after one of the night attacks of the occupiers by Iranian kamikaze drones of the Shahed type, it became known that the Russians began to use a “new type” of these attack drones for attacks on Ukraine, which were assembled or even manufactured on the territory of the Russian Federation , on which, in particular, was hinted at by the combat part of one of the Soviet or Russian-made UAVs.

At the same time, Defense Express recently received a number of photos from its own sources that allow us to analyze, and what differences can be found, if we compare the “new” attack drone, probably manufactured in the Russian Federation (for convenience, we will call it “Geran-2”) and the Iranian sample (we will call it Shahed).

The first thing to note is that “Geranium-2” has indeed received a new marking (previously a photo with an atypical designation “Ы” was distributed on the network), which can be seen in the photo below and which differs from the Shahed marking with the letter “K”.

Markings of the “new” version of the kamikaze drone (top) and the “old”, the serial numbers are painted over for security reasons

Now let’s move on to the basic differences. A number of changes in the “new” kamikaze drone concern its body. Thus, the analysis of images of the Geran-2 kamikaze drone shows that the new version received a slightly different body, which consists of interconnected elements, while in Shahed it was one-piece.

Markings of the “new” version of the kamikaze drone (top) and the “old”, the serial numbers are painted over for security reasons

As you can see, one of the fragments of the kamikaze drone tail of the “new” Geran-2 drone (photo above) has holes for connecting parts of this drone, which were missing in the “old” version.

The type of material used in the body of these Kamchkadze drones has also changed – if in the old Shahed it was printed “honeycombs”, then in the new “Geran-2” something similar to “foam”.

“Foam” in the “new” drone (above) and “honeycomb” in the “old” version (below)

As we mentioned earlier, the new “Geranium-2” also received a new warhead, which is marked in Cyrillic instead of Latin and equipped with tungsten balls.

New combat unit of the Geran-2 kamikaze drone

The Geran-2 UAV has also changed its battery – previously it was made of Li-Ion 18650 batteries, while the “new” drone has a gel battery, and from the Russian brand Delta Battery.

After all, the “new” “Geranium-2” is also equipped with antennas with the “Comet” block, which provides protection against interference and was not used in Shahed before.

New helium battery in Geran-2 kamikaze drone

In view of the facts listed above, we once again record the fact that the Russian Federation really began to use kamikaze drones of its own production and with its own components for strikes on Ukraine. It is currently unclear whether we are talking about some individual samples or whether the occupiers managed to establish production on a larger scale.

Top Photo: Shahed 

Source: Defense Express

Orange Belgium to Deploy Private 5G for Industry Drones, Robotics and VR

Orange Belgium is boosting its private 5G deployments to help support VR, drones and robotics use cases in industry. The French telecoms firm is deploying 5G in shipping ports and factories to help reduce carbon footprint and allow inspectors to work remotely with the help of robots and virtual reality.

Belgian ship management company Seafar will be using Orange’s private 5G in order to help captains control unmanned vessels remotely by using connected 360 cameras to link up to virtual reality headsets.

Within its control centre in Antwerp, the ship management firm currently control its vessels remotely by using footage sent from their cameras via 4G.

With the upgrade to the 5G network, Seafar will be able to deploy the 360 cameras with high image quality that will allow captains in the control centre to experience the ships through virtual reality headsets.

Lower latencies offered by 5G will enable ships to respond faster and easier to the captain’s commands from distances as far as 100km away.

This capability is augmented by network slicing – which means the ship will have access to its own network “highway” instead of using saturated 4G frequencies or public networks.

“We really see this project as a game changer,” says Ghazaleh Kia, R&D project manager at Seafar. “Thanks to 5G, we can have even more unmanned inland shipping vessels, which will cut costs, make the use of the vessels more efficient and reduce carbon emissions.”

Orange Belgium is also deploying 5G to help the inspections of Industrial sites, tank terminals, container terminals, and infrastructure thanks to the use of drones for robotics inspections.

The Antwerp-based firm, SkyeBase, has already deployed automated drones and robotics for its inspections, however, the process still involves manual tasks such as a need to remove the SD card from the drones in order to see the footage it has taken on a desktop or laptop.

With this, if a report turns out to be incomplete, the drone operator would have to travel back to site to repeat the inspection.

With standalone 5G, the drone can automatically upload footage straight to the inspector.

The brand also wants to simplify remote communication with experts, Tom Daniëls, co-founder and CIO of SkyeBase, explains: “Experts cannot always be on-site, but a live stream allows them to follow an inspection from a distance and share their knowledge in a secure manner. The 5G standalone network ensures a guaranteed bandwidth, which is crucial for connection reliability”

“We inspect critical infrastructure in the port and the petrochemical industry, amongst other locations. It is therefore crucial that the expert receives real-time footage, especially when an incident occurs.”

Similarly, telecoms firm Ericsson partnered with Telia earlier this year to build a private 5G network in order to help monitor and manage numerous devices in factories through sensors.

Source: Tech Informed

Chinese Firms Want to Steer Clear of War

The Chinese government has imposed export controls on some drones and drone-related equipment to prevent their use in the war in Ukraine. The restrictions, which come into force starting September 1, will affect drones that meet the following characteristics:

  • equipped with a throwing device;
  • having an empty weight of more than 4 kg and take-off weight of more than 7 kg;
  • equipped with a multispectral camera;
  • maximum autonomous operation time of more than 30 minutes;
  • capable of flying beyond the natural visibility of operators;
  • equipped with radio equipment with a power higher than that allowed for civilian radio equipment.

Sergei Tovkach, CEO of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developer Avianovatsii, told The Insider that Chinese companies had already implemented measures to prevent their products from being used by the warring parties. In that light, the recent government decision regarding drones appeared expected:

“Chinese businesses don’t want to have anything to do with the war — the Russian and Ukrainian markets are too small for them. They’re mainly interested in Europe and the United States, and in these markets, a manufacturer can easily be banned if it is accused of supporting armed hostilities.

China is adopting a prudent approach by banning sales in both markets [Russian and Ukrainian — The Insider] simultaneously. Even major manufacturers refrain from supplying printed circuit boards to Russia or Ukraine. While Ukrainians have some leeway, being able to pay for them and deliver them through intermediaries. Russia has to get even trickier, as payment systems do not work.”

According to the expert, the Chinese company DJI (the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial UAVs) has started to block its drones from flying over specific territories and conflict zones. To circumvent the ban, both Russia and Ukraine began creating proxy circuit boards that allow them to “trick” the drone and enable flight in prohibited areas.

Mass-produced Chinese drones – Video provided by Sergei Tovkach

One of the newly imposed restrictions will focus on multispectral cameras, which have the capability to perform thermal imaging and capture the visible spectrum simultaneously. For example, Mavic 3T drones used in aerial reconnaissance are equipped with these cameras. Another ban concerns UAVs that exceed a specific weight threshold.

“Mass implies that the drone can be used as an ammunition carrier. The heavier the drone, the more ammunition it can carry. The Chinese want to ban heavy drones that carry mortar shells as well as [drones] that are blatantly used as bombers. These vehicles are often called ‘witch’ or ‘Baba Yaga.’ Down the line, they’ll get tougher on the rest of the drones, that’s for sure.”

However, Tovkach is confident that drones composed of Chinese parts will continue to be utilized in Ukraine, regardless of the restrictions:

“They won’t ban individual components. There’ll always be ‘gray’ export. For example, the same DJI drone can be blocked so that it flies only inside China, and you have to reprogram it. It’s getting harder all the time because DJI is really working to keep their drones out of war zones. But if I buy the camera separately, buy the transmitter separately, make the frame myself, make the autopilot myself as well, or buy it and assemble it all myself — who’s going to stop me? It’ll all just contribute to DIY and in-house assembly.

The development of full-fledged drones is out of the question both [in Russia] and in Ukraine — for now. [Russia] has the Orlan and Supercam, and the best drones in Ukraine are made by the Odessa-based company Shark. But these are exceptions. Most of them are assembled from Chinese components, which will be available for a very long time.”

MilDef and UMS SKELDAR Launch Ergonomic Remote Pilot Station Console

MilDef and UMS SKELDAR have launched a bespoke RPS console that provides optimal workspace, functionality and improved ergonomics for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operators. MilDef has designed, developed and manufactured a bespoke working pilot console for UMS SKELDAR’s V-200 platform.

Complete UAS systems, including MilDef’s latest console, will be delivered to maritime defense forces.

There is a significant demand for UASs in the defense sector. UMS SKELDAR’s UAS are designed for various missions, including surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare. With MilDef’s console, the partners will provide the most ergonomically intuitive workspace for flight operators in terms of functionality. The console accommodates two operators – one for the Pilot in Command (PIC) and the second for the payload operator.

“With our experience in designing operator consoles suited to challenging environments, we are proud to have been selected as partner to UMS SKELDAR. The increased demand for unmanned vehicles is also reflected in the need for RPS solutions that offer great flexibility and reduce pilot fatigue, an area where our company can combine our expertise in bespoke hardware as well as systems integration, ensuring the best possible solution for end users. As we venture deeper into the realm of controlling UAS and air capabilities, we strengthen our total defence offering and prove our role in digitalizing the battlefield.”

says Daniel Ljunggren, CEO MilDef Group.

UMS SKELDAR V-200

“We are grateful for MilDef’s invaluable contribution in creating a console that perfectly meets our customers’ operational needs. We both understand the importance of catering to our clients’ unique operational requirements, mission objectives and desired functionalities, and they have understood the need for this console to provide an optimal workspace for flight operators. We appreciate MilDef’s commitment and ability to deliver exceptional solutions,”

says UMS SKELDAR’s Vice President of Business Development, Richard Hjelmberg.

Source: Press Release

 

Indonesia to Buy 12 TAI Anka Drones for $300M

Indonesia on Tuesday announced it had bought drones from a prominent Turkish defense manufacturer, marking the latest in a series of purchases aimed at modernizing the country’s aging military equipment.

The deal with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for 12 new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is worth some $300 million, Indonesia’s defense ministry said in a statement.

The agreement comes after Indonesian President Joko Widodo in July warned his Cabinet to maintain a “healthy” budget as he highlighted outsized spending by the country’s security agencies, including the Defense Ministry.

In January, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto sealed an $800-million deal to buy 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets, which drew criticism as they were considered too old. Indonesia in February also bought 42 Rafale fighter jets for $8.1 billion, which will be disbursed in phases over several years.

At 134.3 trillion rupiahs ($8.89 billion), the Defense Ministry has the biggest allocation from the country’s total budget this year, according to government data.

The deal with Ankara-based TAI was finalized in February and the drones are expected to be delivered within 32 months of the signing. It also includes training and flight simulators, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The statement did not clarify which drones have been agreed on, but media reports cited TAI General Manager Temel Kotil as saying that the agreement would cover the company’s Anka combat UAVs.

Indonesia earlier expressed its interest in the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) class drone, with all-weather day and night reconnaissance abilities, target detection and identification, and intelligence missions, featuring autonomous flight capability, including automatic takeoff and landing.

It can remain in the air for up to 30 hours and boasts a 250-kilometer (155.34-mile) firing range capacity.

Kotil last month said six of the drones would be manufactured in Türkiye and delivered in August. The remaining six, along with technology transfer, will be produced in Indonesia, said the official.

TAI currently produces five Ankas per month but plans to boost the capacity in the coming period to meet growing foreign demand. The drone has already been sold to Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Algeria and Chad.

TAI has been expanding efforts to ensure a greater presence in the Asian market in new-generation technologies, particularly in the field of the defense industry and aviation.

It already has an office in Indonesia and opened an engineering and design office in Malaysia back in November 2021 to explore opportunities for defense and aviation projects, including UAVs, jet trainers and helicopter development.

TAI in May announced it had signed a deal worth some $100 million for three of its Anka drones.

TAI meanwhile is also engaged in the development of a flying-wing, deep-strike stealth unmanned fighter jet, Anka-3. It is also manufacturing the Aksungur combat drone.

Its project portfolio also includes Hürjet, Türkiye’s domestically developed advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft, and close air support and the training aircraft, Hürkuş.

The Hürjet project initially kicked off in 2017, and the jet made its maiden flight in late April.

The T129 Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter, or Atak, as well as the indigenous multirole helicopter, the T625 Gökbey, are also among its pioneering projects.

Development of Atak’s successor, Atak 2, which marks Türkiye’s first domestically developed heavy-class attack helicopter, is also underway. The chopper became operational in late April.

Türkiye’s first home-grown 5th-generation fighter jet is TAI’s most important project. Named KAAN, the warplane made a runway debut and completed its first taxi test after becoming operational in mid-March.

The aircraft, seeking to perform its maiden flight soon, has been developed to replace the F-16s in the Air Forces Command’s fleet and are planned to be phased out starting in the 2030s.

Photo: TAI’s Anka drone on display during Turkey’s aerospace and technology festival Teknofest, in Istanbul, Türkiye, Sept. 26, 2021

Source: Daily Sabah

Germany to Provide Ukraine with RQ-35 Heidrun Drones

According to information released by the German Chancellor’s Office, Germany will supply a large batch of RQ-35 Heidrun reconnaissance drones to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The RQ-35 Heidrun unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is designed for conducting low-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It is produced by the Danish drone maker, Sky-Watch company. An unspecified number of these drones were delivered to Ukraine by the government of Denmark in 2022, allowing the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s drone operators to become familiar with the equipment.

Reports from the Ukrainian army indicate that the RQ-35 Heidrun has shown high effectiveness in real combat scenarios. However, based on experiences gathered during operations, engineers from Sky-Watch company have implemented several technical improvements into the UAV.

“Based on our experiences from Ukraine, our skilled engineers have configured the RQ-35 Heidrun to be highly EW resistant and capable of flying in GNSS denied airspace,” the company said on its website.

The German government has not provided any additional details regarding the future deliveries of RQ-35 Heidrun to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

However, the well-recognized and trusted German website, Soldat und Technik, reports that the drones will be delivered to Ukraine by the German defence company, Dynamit Nobel Defence (DND). The website states that DND has established a strategic partnership with the Danish company Sky-Watch.

The cooperation between the two companies aims to integrate the RQ-35 Heidrun drone with DND-developed sensor-to-shooter digital technologies. Furthermore, DND will play the role of a distribution partner for Sky-Watch.

Source: Defence Industry Europe