Further to this post (with lots of relevant links), the US Navy looks to be getting serious:
Defense contractors will be asked to submit proposals next year for a next-generation unmanned aerial system that will be deployed from aircraft carriers, said the Navy’s deputy program executive officer for UAS.
After a two-year delay, the Navy expects to issue a request for proposals in 2013 for its Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS). The goal is to have the aircraft in the fleet by 2020, said Patrick Buckley at a Nov. 9 conference on unmanned aerial systems in Springfield, Va.
The road to establishing requirements for UCLASS has been fraught with debate, with officials in a tug-of-war on how advanced UCLASS should be, given fiscal and technological constraints…
The Navy is in the final stages of nailing down those requirements, said Buckley, who offered a few hints of what the service would be looking for.
UCLASS will harness “mature” technology that has been demonstrated in relevant operational environments, as opposed to technology in very early stages of development, Buckley said. Bidders can propose commercial off-the-shelf or modified off-the-shelf components within their design, as well as new components that contain mature technology, he continued.
The project includes three segments: upgrades to carriers to support unmanned operations, the UCLASS aircraft and mission systems, and the command-and-control system. The Navy will be the lead systems integrator for the components, providing data and interface specifications to allow the contractor to deliver the air vehicle and mission systems, Buckley said…
But up here…
with this further delay:
Good on MILNEWS.ca for the persistent Merx-watch.
Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger
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