UNMANNED AIRCRAFT: First Afghan Drone; U.S. Navy Foreign Sales Plan; China Drones in Africa
Afghan Scan Eagle.
The Afghan military could be flying its first unarmed surveillance drone as early as March, according to a U.S. commander in Kabul, Reuters reports.
The NATO-led military alliance will provide the remotely piloted Insitu ScanEagle aircraft, and will train Afghan soldiers to operate the system, said Major General Gordon Davis, commander of the unit that procures new equipment for the Afghans, Reuters said.
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Navy Plans Foreign Sales.
Insitu’s RQ-21 Blackjack drone, now being flown by the Marine Corps, is among the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) the U.S. Navy says it will offer for foreign sales.
Reporting from the Singapore Air Show, Defense News, says the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout, a small unmanned helicopter, and Northrop Grumman’s high flying MQ-4C Triton, a large-scale maritime surveillance aircraft, will be among the UAS available to foreign military customers.
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Nigerian Drones from China?
For African governments facing tight defense budgets and chronic security threats, Chinese military equipment has great appeal, particularly as it often comes as part of a broader package of trade and investment, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Ten African nations have started buying equipment from China within the last 10 years, including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Angola and Nigeria.
And armed drones may be among the military equipment Nigeria is buying. In January 2015, photos of an armed drone that had crashed in a field in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno found their way onto the Internet. A second crash was reported in June. The drone was identified as a CH-3, an armed version of earlier drones built by China Aerospace Science and Technology, a vast state-owned enterprise employing more than 170,000 people.
Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, Counter Insurgency, Marine Corps, National Security and Defense, Navy, News Developments, Technology, Unmanned Aircraft, Unmanned Systems, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: aerospace, Afghanistan, Africa, Chinese CH-3 drone, Counter Insurgency, Insitu Scan Eagle, Marine Corps, military aviation, Navy, Topics, UAV.