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Project Noctua & the Heron UAV - Interim capability to support Afghanistan Ops

McG

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You are now starting to paint an interesting picture.  If true, I'd be interested to know if "killed by senior DND leadership" was something that happened any lower than the MND's office.
 

GAP

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doesn't matter....nobody here can change whats been decided, best to take advantage of a better system, even if it doesn't have all the bells, whistles, and bombs.... :)
 

Good2Golf

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Wilfred828 said:
Rule #1: never reveal sources who don't want to be quoted.

Only JUSTAS was killed by Cabinet in 2007.  There were high-level discussions (senior DND, even ministerial) about delivering a Reaper system to KAF by the end of 2008 through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case with the USAF. This would have been in addition to Noctua. The USAF said it was feasible for both kit and crew training, with the CF pitching up at Creech AFB (Nevada) to fly missions alongside the USAF and RAF. Collective training was out of the question, however. This effort was killed by senior DND leadership.  Competition was probably a factor in the decision as CH-47 and small UAV were both FMS or sole source, as was the total dollar figure of all the Manley Panel efforts, and God only knows what all else. In all fairness, though, we didn't (and don't) have the people to do both Noctua and a Reaper purchase for KAF. 

As for schedule, keep in mind FMS isn't a commercial contract. The USAF bent over backwards to help the RAF field Reaper in around 12 months and would have done the same for us, or better if they learned anything from their work with the Brits.

To say the above with any authority, you would have to work in 13NT (or somewhere even more influential).  I doubt this, as anybody working in 13NT would have the discretion to not discuss the issue in the manner you have done here.

A disgruntled individual from a company that was not the winning bidder for Noctua?  Someone from General Atomics who thought that a few more systems could have been pushed out the door and given the company more profits?  Some other option none of us have figured out yet?

In a nutshell, Heron replaces Sperwer....but you knew this already, didn't you?  It's hard to argue that the FIND portion of FIND, FIX, DESTROY will not be done much more effectively than with Sperwer, right?

Tell you what, if your so connected, Wilfred, why don't you stand up at the next P&P Committee meeting and convince Cabinet to buy Reaper and a gross of Hellfires on an FMS case?  ;)

Have a nice day.

G2G

 

McG

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GAP said:
....nobody here can change whats been decided, best to take advantage of a better system, even if it doesn't have all the bells, whistles, and bombs....
Exactly, and even if there was an FMS options and if it was killed in DND below MND level, then I would suspect there are other factors involved than those presented.

All other things being equal, an armed UAV in operation is a much greater capability than an unarmed UAV in operation.  However, a capability is more complex than just that.  Even going beyond capability of the sensor payload, one must consider number of aircraft, number of control stations, number of feasable concurent flights, and reliability & availability (at the individual & aggregate levels). 

If there was an FMS option offering the 90% UAV platform that would only be available 40% of the time, then I still might lean toward the 75% UAV platform available 75% of the time.  Of course, this is speculative and the details to really make this comparison do not belong in the public domain (OPSEC). So, we'll never get into that informed discussion here.

In any case, the proof that armed UAV will eventually be purchased, to meet our long-term objectives, is now also in the news: http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/79853.0.html
 

newfin

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Looks like one of the Herons has arrived.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/IAI10158.xml&headline=Canadians%20Fly%20Israeli%20UAV%20in%20Afghanistan

I saw this on the main page at www.aviationweek.com

 

eurowing

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You can google Heron UAV, look for Heron UAV on youtube and look here www.uavs.ca for info.  It is a capable platform.
 

geo

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The thing I find interesting & impressive is it's being able to stay airborne 24 hours.....(per specs) While it can't provide an offensive edge on it's own, the eyes in the sky can provide guidance & targets for thosee weapon systems that are available.

A great leap forward from the Sperwer
 

newfin

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If it can stay aloft for so long then why does the manufacturer say that it only has a 200 km range?
 

Loachman

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Two-way communication with the ground station.
 

MarkOttawa

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Deleted--moved here:
http://forums.milnet.ca/forums/threads/67417/post-770191.html#msg770191

Mark
Ottawa
 

Good2Golf

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newfin said:
If it can stay aloft for so long then why does the manufacturer say that it only has a 200 km range?

That's the transit to its on-station time.

It's not that it couldn't travel long distances...it could probably travel 1000km, but it would likely be able to spend only a few minutes on station before having to come home.

Endurance - transit - reserves = time on station.
 

Loachman

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Good2Golf said:
That's the transit to its on-station time.

See my previous comment. Even larger/more sophisticated UAVs than Sperwer have remarkably similar "ranges", under local control.
 

The Bread Guy

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This from ISR media...

Israeli UAVs to fly in Afghanistan
YAAKOV KATZ, Jerusalem Post online, 15/16 Dec 08
Article link

Satellite


It plays a vital role in IDF operations in the Gaza Strip and in southern Lebanon, and in February the Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will make its debut in Afghanistan as the main surveillance drone for the Canadian Armed Forces, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Last month, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) supplied a number of Heron UAVs to the Canadian military for operations in Afghanistan. The Heron will replace a small French-built UAV that Canada has been operating in Afghanistan for several years.

The Heron was supplied to Canada under a $95 million contract signed in August. Canadian forces are currently committed to participating in operations in Afghanistan until 2011. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently called on Canada to extend its commitment due to the success NATO forces have had in the troubled region of Kandahar....

More on link
 

The Bread Guy

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Just made it onto Canadian Press, too...
Canada's soldiers have a new eye in the sky over Afghanistan.  New Heron pilotless spy drones have just arrived at Kandahar Airfield. Canadian Forces officials say the drones - also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs - will help reduce the risk of ambushes and roadside bombs.  The Air Force will use the tactical drones for intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance.  Canada is spending $95 million to lease the Herons for at least two years from B.C.-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates....

(A bit) more on link
 

Loachman

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Retired AF Guy said:
Just caught on the radio that the first Canadian UAV has arrived in Afghanistan.

So what have I been suffering with for the last couple of months, then?
 

MarkOttawa

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Meanwhile:

Russia Says It May Buy Remotely Piloted Spy Planes From Israel
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/17/world/europe/17russia.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

Mark
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geo

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MarkOttawa said:
Russia Says It May Buy Remotely Piloted Spy Planes From Israel
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/17/world/europe/17russia.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

From my perspective, it doesn't make too much sense for Israel to sell the technology to the Russians.....
Anything that was built into the drones will be taken apart & reverse engineered AND industrial / technical secrets would be shared by the Russians with Iran, Syria & any other country you might think of that is not too friendly with Israel.
 
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