British Army embarks on largest military robot exercise in its history

Military drone
The Army has started its biggest military robot exercise in British history. Troops have commenced the testing of over 70 examples of futuristic technology including enhanced surveillance drones and other unmanned vehicles. The ‘Autonomous Warrior’ experiment, taking place on the fields of Salisbury Plain, will last four weeks and will test a range of prototype unmanned aerial vehicles alongside autonomous ground-based robots. The exercise will finish with a battlegroup experiment which will see the best ideas and products tested in a tough simulated operational environment. On the experiment, defence secretary Gavin Williamson, said: “Our troops now have the chance to
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Security chiefs ‘took all measures’ to repel drone attacks during Russia World Cup

Russian authorities had to put a stop to drone attacks during this summer’s FIFA World Cup, according to the head of the country’s federal security service. Alexander Borntikov made the announcement at a conference of international security and law enforcement officials. As part of his speech, he said: “Organs of the federal security service took all measures to detect and foil attempts by terrorists to use drones during the preparations and staging of large-scale sporting and political events, first and foremost during the World Cup held in Russia.” According to a report by the Telegraph, missile launchers and anti-drone jammers
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AeroVironment lands £2.5m UAS contract from US Department of Defense

AeroVironment has been awarded a $3.2m (£2.5m) firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. The contract means the Californian-based company will provide RQ-20B Puma AE II small unmanned aircraft systems, training and support to an allied nation in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility. Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s UAS business, said: “The vast, diverse landscape of the INDOPACOM area of operation demands small unmanned aircraft systems that can support ground, riverine and maritime operations effectively.” He added: “The combat-proven Puma has demonstrated its unique effectiveness in a wide range of operating environments, from
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FAA to ban drones from getting too close to navy vessels

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the civil aviation body in the US, is restricting drone flights from coming within 3,000 feet laterally and 1,000 feet vertically from particular maritime vessels. In cooperation with the Department of Defence (DOD) and the United Coast Guard (USCG), the FAA is using its existing authority to address concerns over malicious drone lights near U.S. Navy (USN) and USCG vessels operating in the vicinity of Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia. The FAA has also warned drone operators that these USN and USCG vessels are authorised by law to
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Government’s Defence and Security Accelerator seeks ‘wider community’ proposals for small-drone use in the military

A competition document from the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is seeking proposals for innovative approaches to developing and evaluating the military utility of a drone swarm. DASA wants low-cost, small Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) to operate as a collaborative mission capability as part of military missions. £2.5m has been made available to fund one or more swarming UAS Integrated Concept Evaluations to accelerate from a minimum of Technology Readiness Level 3 or 4 to TRL 6 or 7. The competition document 'Many Drones Make Light Work', described how UAS are currently in widespread use with a range of defence
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Elite UAV pilot fears US is ‘not ready’ to defend against progressive drone industry

An Elite drone pilot has described how he thinks airborne threats are ‘outpacing’ US defenses. Brett Velicovich, who now advises government officials on how to defend against drones, thinks the technology in place isn’t sufficient enough to successfully fend off an attack. This news comes just over a week after President Trump signed a bill which gave US authorities permissions to shoot down drones which pose a potential risk. However, according to a report by Fox News, FBI and Homeland Security officials have recently told the senate that the US is still a long way behind when it comes to
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FBI director warns that terrorist drones pose an ‘escalating threat’

The director of the FBI has warned of the increasing risk posed by terrorists using commercial drones to carry out attacks. He is concerned that terrorist organisations, criminal groups and drug cartels are progressively looking at drones as a new way of committing an assault. In a senate committee earlier this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray described how “terrorist groups could easily export their battlefield experiences to use weaponised drones.” According to a report by Bloomberg, Wray’s comments are his most forceful to date on the matter. He went on to describe how their retail availability and “lack of verified
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China to make its largest ever drone export in Pakistan deal

China has agreed an export deal with Pakistan to send a batch of military-grade drones to the country. The agreement comes just days after Russia and India signed a multi-billion pound arms deal, in what has been described as anti-US 'sabre rattling'. According to a report from the Express, the advanced military drone to be shipped out to Pakistan will be the 48 Wing Loong II UCAV. The UCAV is a recon and strike multirole endurance drone which is more than eight metres long, four metres tall and has a wingspan of 18 metres. The report goes on to describe
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US Army to work with industry to control overseas military drones

The US Army is working with the industry to implement combat drones overseas controlled by a US-based operator. The aim is to reduce vulnerability to enemy attack in high-risk missions and to allow time to draw up advanced satellite networks to improve video feeds. According to a report by Warrior, a Remote Split Operations system (RSO) is set to be used, the same system already operational with the Air Force from a high-op-tempo command and control station at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. The same report details how much of the work will be carried out by MAG Aerospace,
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FLIR Systems announces new vehicle recon system

FLIR Systems has unveiled the FLIR Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS) designed to aid global military, government agency and first responder vehicle-mounted operations. Featuring the Black Hornet nano-UAV, the VRS enables the soldier to stay safe while maintaining situational awareness, threat detection, and surveillance. The Black Hornet combines with the VRS to create a real-time situational awareness (RSTA) airborne system for troops protected inside a vehicle. It also includes a launch unit that holds multiple UAVs which can mount to the exterior of any military vehicle, including armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, and light utility vehicles. Operators inside
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