Drone Roundup: Occupy, The Muslim Drone, Civilian Drones and More

cormorant1 e1350305761744 Drone Roundup: Occupy, The Muslim Drone, Civilian Drones and More

Occupy Eyes the Drones
“Occupy Wall Street activists claim they are being tracked, whether they were arrested at a protest or not, just for showing up at an OWS activity. A combination of overhead drones picking up cell-phone pings and GPS tracking software included in every Apple and Android phone is able to create a government database of everyone and anyone who ever went near an Occupy protest.”

Meet Ayoub: The Muslim drone
“Though The Jerusalem Post has proclaimed Ayoub’s voyage evidence of Israel’s “increasingly brazen and confrontational enemies”, rational observers might see it instead as part of an effort to deter a brazen and confrontational neighbour presiding over a cycle of murderous violence in Lebanon. Given the preponderance of the Israeli state lexicon, however, according to which self-defence against Israel is provocative terrorism and Israeli military slaughter is self-defence, the cycle is far from over.”

Iran: Israel can expect 100s more UAV infiltrations
“He added that the infiltration reflected only a small part of Hezbollah’s capability, and that it had dealt a significant blow to Israel, according to Fars. A number of senior Iranian officials have already remarked that the move proved Israel’s air defense systems were inadequate. Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said last week that the drone infiltration has “shown the weakness of the Zionist regime’s Iron Dome,” while the deputy coordinator for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Jamaluddin Aberoumand said the incident indicated that the Iron Dome system “does not work and lacks the necessary capacity.” The Iron Dome system, jointly funded with the United States, is designed to shoot down short-range guerrilla rockets, not slow-flying aircraft. Former Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora claimed that the UAV that flew over Israel was sent at Iran’s behest, and that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did not consult with the Lebanese government before sending the drone. Last week, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said that Hezbollah’s decision to send the UAV into Israeli airspace could risk stability in Lebanon by prompting Israeli retaliation.”

UK to double number of drones in Afghanistan
The UK is to double the number of armed RAF “drones” flying combat and surveillance operations in Afghanistan and, for the first time, the aircraft will be controlled from terminals and screens in Britain. In the new squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), five Reaper drones will be sent to Afghanistan, the Guardian can reveal. It is expected they will begin operations within six weeks. Pilots based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire will fly the recently bought American-made UAVs at a hi-tech hub built on the site in the past 18 months.

How Russia and Georgia’s ‘little war’ started a drone arms race
“Meanwhile, the fate of the drone deals between Georgia and Israel played a major factor in the quick deterioration of what Caucasus expert Michael Cecire described as a “love affair” turned “messy divorce.” Pre-2008, Israel enjoyed arguably its strongest ties in the region with the pro-Western government of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Israel sold Georgia 40 drones, anti-aircraft equipment, and trained Georgian infantry through private defense firms. In the run-up to the war, however, Russia put heavy pressure on Israel to cancel its arms deals with Georgia, and publicly implied it would consider selling advanced equipment to Israel’s enemies if it did not give in. Israel acquiesced two days before the start of the conflict, a move that Georgian Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili, now ambassador to the US, slammed as “a disgrace.”

Alameda County Sheriff plans to buy a surveillance drone
“The units can be outfitted with high-powered cameras, thermal imaging devices, license plate readers and laser radar. Police and sheriffs already use some of those tools. However, combined with a hard-to-detect drone, they offer authorities unprecedented capabilities for mass surveillance using militarized equipment.”The law hasn’t caught up with the technology,” said Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy rights group. “There are no rules of the road for how they operate these things.”

This Eagle-Eyed Heron UAV Can See From Tel Aviv to Cyprus
“The Heron 1 (Shoval) is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) drone, capable of staying aloft for up to 52 hours with an operational ceiling of 35,000 feet. Developed by the Malat (UAV) division of Israel Aerospace Industries, the Heron 1 measures 79 feet long with an 86-foot wingspan and weighs 8,800 pounds. A single Pratt & Whitney PT6A 1,200-hp engine propels the drone along at a brisk 130 MPH. The Heron is capable of flying completely autonomously in all weather conditions—including takeoff and landing—over a pre-programmed flight path using its internal GPS receiver, or can be flown manually by a remote operator. “I can say we are flying above Gaza to the south, the West Bank to the east, in the north [possibly over Lebanon and Syria] and in the west [over the Mediterranean] without being detected,” said Maj. G, an executive officer of the IAF’s 200 Sqdn, told Aviation Week. “It is not stealthy, but it is silent and very discrete.”

Meet the SQ-4 Recon UAV, a $32K Remote-Control Surveillance Drone
“British-company BCB International yesterday unveiled its SQ-4 Recon UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), a miniature aerial surveillance drone that’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The company says the UAV can fly up to 30 minutes on a full charge, and it is capable of operating at a distance of more than 1.5 miles away from its remote control.”

Drones may soon buzz through local skies
“Peverill and Woodworth’s start-up, Rotary Robotics, is just one of several local groups working to demilitarize drone aircraft. While the armed forces have deployed unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya that cost millions and are sometimes armed with Hellfire missiles, this new fleet will be small, cheap, and geared to tasks like evaluating farm crops, finding missing children, or inspecting bridges. Many expect that the domestic UAV industry is about to take off, and the Federal Aviation Administration has estimated that 30,000 drones could be aloft by 2020. “We’re in a rapid spool-up phase now, where we’re thinking about going from producing tens of aircraft per month to a thousand or more,” says Tom Vaneck, vice president of space technologies at Physical Sciences Inc. in Andover.”

Drone Roundup: Israel and Iran Fight It Out in the Press

cormorant1 e1350305761744 Drone Roundup: Israel and Iran Fight It Out in the Press

Iran defense minister confirms Hezbollah drone was Iranian
“Whatever we have at our disposal will be used at the proper time in defending the Muslim community and Islamic territories and that’s natural,” Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said on Sunday adding, “Given the Zionist regime’s frequent incursions into the Lebanese airspace, we see it as the natural right of Lebanon’s Hezbollah to fly its drone above the Occupied Territories.” The minister added that the flight of the Hezbollah drone proved the weakness of the Jewish entity’s iron dome. “The so-called iron dome of the Zionist regime’s defense space collapsed by this action and it became clear that the Zionist regime could not be safe from the fury of the Muslim community,” Vahidi said.”

Former Lebanese PM: UAV not a state decision
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that the Hezbollah-dispatched unmanned aerial vehicle that flew over Israel was sent at Iran’s behest, and was not a Lebanese decision, a statement issued by Siniora’s press office said on Sunday. “Sending the drone over Israel is not a Lebanese decision, however the move was made at an Iranian behest. Such act needs techniques only available in Iran,” Lebanese news site The Daily Star quoted Siniora as telling his visitors at his Sidon’s office.

Israel unveils enhanced drone
As part of Sunday’s showcase, held in central Israel, the Shoval drone flew towards the sea and identified a commercial vessel on the Mediterranean, dozens of kilometers away from Israeli shores. Live footage displayed in HD quality on the control screens showed foreign reporters virtually every detail on the ship, including its Japanese flag, the name on its front and the sailors walking on board. The drone can also identify aircraft flying over the sea and determine whether they are suspicious. Its radar, which has a 300km (190 mile) range, can reach as far as Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt. “The system can inquire and intercept any object within just a few minutes,” a senior IAI official said. The UAV weighs 1,200 kilograms (2,645 pounds) and can carry 256 kilograms (565 pounds) in surveillance cargo. “The Shoval has satellite communication abilities, which means any footage it takes will be broadcasted online to distant location like Paris. This capability allows it to operate during bad weather, in which case it will fly under cloud height and will not be affected by the rain,” the official said.

Iran to Use New Drone for Air Defense, Bombing Missions
A senior Iranian military commander said that the country’s newly unveiled Haazem (Determination) drones are multi-purpose and multi-range vehicles with air-defense, reconnaissance and aerial bombardment capabilities. Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli stressed that Iran’s defense industries enjoy a high capability in designing and producing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and stated that Haazem is a drone designed and manufactured by Iranian air defense experts in three short, mid and long range models and for air defense missions. He said that the drone can be used as a target for air defense systems and also for reconnaissance missions. Esmayeeli said the UAV can also be equipped with missiles and used for aerial bombardments as well.

Hezbollah drone photographed secret IDF bases
The Hezbollah drone that infiltrated the Negev last week beamed back live images of secret Israeli military bases, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. According to the report, the drone was airborne for three hours before being intercepted by an F-16I jet. It is believed to have transmitted pictures of preparations for Israel’s joint military exercise with the US, as well as ballistic missile sites, airfields and, perhaps, the nuclear reactor in Dimona, the Sunday Times reported.

Israel terrified by outlook of future Iran, Hezbollah combat UAVs: Analyst
“The fear of Israelis is that these UAVs, Iran or Hezbollah can develop them to become combat UAVs meaning [having] the capability of launching missiles or themselves being used as guided missiles against targets in Israel. So personally, I think we will see it more in any future conflict between Hezbollah and Israel,” CEO and founder of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), Riad Kahwaji said in a Press TV interview.

Israel’s IAI wins $958M India drone deal
Israel Aerospace Industries, flagship of the Jewish state’s defense sector, is reported to have secured a $958 million contract from India’s military to upgrade its IAI-built Heron and Searcher unmanned aerial vehicles. UAVs are one of the biggest money-spinners for Israel’s defense industry and India, which is engaged in a massive multiyear rearmament program, is a key customer. Israel’s Globes business daily cited Indian media reports that the deal covers some 150 UAVs acquired from IAI since the 1990s that are operated by India’s army, air force and navy.

South Korea’s Kamikaze UAV Could Scare the Ojom Out of Kim Jong-un
South Korea’s aptly named the Devil Killer fits that bill; it’s a portable kamikaze UAV currently under development by Korea Aerospace Industries in conjunction with Konkuk and Hanyang Universities. It measures five feet in length and weighs approximately 55 pounds. When unfolded, its boasts a four foot wingspan. The Devil Killer will be powered by an electric motor and reportedly reach speeds in excess of 250 MPH, allowing it to strike North Korean targets up to 25 miles away in just 10 minutes.

Photo: Lockheed Martin Cormorant

Drone Roundup

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UAVs autonomously refuel in flight during DARPA demo
“On Oct 5, DARPA’s two-year Autonomous High-Altitude Refueling (AHR) program, which concluded Sep. 30, explored the ability to safely conduct fully autonomous refueling of UAVs in challenging high-altitude flight conditions. During its final test flight, two modified Global Hawk aircraft flew in close formation, 100 feet or less between refueling probe and receiver drogue, for the majority of a 2.5-hour engagement at 44,800 feet, said the agency.”

Canberra rescue drone wins $10,000 prize
“A Canberra team has won $10,000 for developing an un-manned aerial vehicle (UAV) which could help rescue stranded bushwalkers. Leader Stephen Dade and his team ‘Canberra UAV’ claimed first prize at the Outback Rescue Challenge after their UAV successfully located a dummy bushwalker.”

With Israel’s Destruction of Drone, the Region’s Dynamics Have Changed Significantly
“In the long run, however, manned fighter jets will be a very poor choice for defending against hostile UAV incursions. UAVs will eventually gain the advantage in agility and maneuverability—and in the ability to dodge and weave to avoid missiles intended to destroy them. Given that the entire country of Israel may now be within easy reach of Iranian UAVs launched from southern Lebanon, that’s a technology trend that has the potential to fundamentally alter the dynamics of the region.”

Govt to prioritize development of drones
“As an archipelago sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Indonesian government is currently prioritizing the development of its own unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to cover the many volcanoes located throughout the country, according to Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta.”

Iran has a new toy: Drone proliferation continues
“The Shahed-129 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is Iran’s newest domestically made drone, capable of reaching targets up to 2,000 kilometers away, which includes just about anywhere in the Middle East, as well as Israel. This model doubles the range of previous drones, but bears some similarities to the US RQ Sentential UAV that crashed on Iranian territory in 2011.”

Video: IAF Interceps UAV in Israeli Airspace
“DIY ISR and weapon delivery platforms are likely to remain just an annoyance for some time. The value of the intelligence they generate is questionable at best. And if the aim is to kill or destroy the impact will be minimal unless someone gets extremely creative with the payload. In most cases these platforms are more likely to benefit conventional forces, rather than non-state actors, who can deploy them with greater frequency and effectiveness.”

U.S. Security Agency Begins Small UAS Testing
“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin testing and evaluating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) this month near Lawton, Oklahoma, under a federal and state initiative to study UAS applications for emergency response. The DHS is also considering the use of small UAS by its constituent organizations: the Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency.”