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UNMANNED SYSTEMS

UNMANNED SYSTEMS

George C. Scott, playing Patton

In Patton, the academy award winning movie from 1970 about George S. Patton, there is a scene where the iconic US Army General comments on the coming era of “Wonder Weapons”.

George C. Scott, playing Patton, says rather dramatically: “My God I don’t see the wonder in them. Killing without heroics, nothing is glorified . . . Nothing is reaffirmed? No heroes, no cowards, no troops, no generals? Only those who are left alive and those who are left dead. I’m glad I won’t live to see it.”

And, he didn’t. Live to see it, that is. After surviving many momentous battles in WW II, including the Battle of the Bulge, Patton died as the result of an ordinary traffic accident in 1945, just as the war was ending. But, Patton’s words about conflict in the future were prophetic and no doubt he would be disdainful about the nature of today’s warfare where faceless, unseen, robots do the emotionless killing.

However, “unmanned” IS the face – as it were – of future warfare, and we’ve already seen how drones like Predator can take out leaders of groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda without the enemy even knowing they are there.

And, while so called 5th generation fighter jets like the F-35 and F-22 Raptor offer invisibility as a result of their stealthy fabrication, future generations of fighter jets will undoubtedly be unmanned as well.

So, that brings us to this issue of CDR and, as we do each year at this time, we offer our annual report on what’s going on in the unmanned space – with special emphasis on current programs in Canada.

For this year’s report, CDR’s Ottawa correspondent, James Careless, writes about the ISTAR program where OEMs like Skeldar and Schiebel are partnering with Canadian companies like QTS and MDA respectively, to offer a rotary solution for the Navy’s

surveillance requirement. And, of course, there is the long-in-thetooth JUSTAS program which has now, after many years of gestation, morphed into RPAS, a program valued at between $2 – 4 billion.

For our look at that program, James profiles companies like General Atomics and IAI, both of which have forged strong partnerships with Canadian companies, to offer a solution.

TEAM ARTEMIS TARGETS RPAS PROGRAM

Last year in a CDR Cover Story (Volume 23, Issue 5), we profiled the SkyGuardian UAS from General Atomics and for our Cover Story in this issue, we sent our Senior Staff Writer and Aviation Editor, Joetey Attariwala, to talk to the folks at L3 MAS in Mirabel, Quebec, who have teamed up with IAI, builder of the Heron TP, Unmanned Aerial System.

As you will learn from Joetey’s very incisive profile on what’s being called “Team Artemis”, this is a partnership that could bring Canada, not only a UAS solution for domestic surveillance in Canada, but also provide a weapons-capable platform for offshore missions as well.

And, at the same time, because of what IAI is offering, Canada’s nascent unmanned industry could receive an important boost as that company plans to transfer key technology to L3 MAS that will not only allow it to do the necessary ISS work, but also assemble the aircraft – right here in Canada.

For all the details on Team Artemis and its offering for RPAS, we urge you to read Joetey’s in-depth Cover Story in this issue.

EUROFIGHTER FLIES IN CYPRUS

Speaking of our peripatetic Aviation Editor, we also sent him all the way to Cyprus where he was able to observe the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet in action as it was deployed by the RAF. Joetey was able to speak with RAF pilots about their experience flying this very sophisticated aircraft as part of the UK’s mission against ISIS in Syria.

Look for Joetey’s report from Cyprus on Eurofighter Typhoon, in this issue of CDR. By the way, Eurofighter Typhoon is expected to be a leading contender for Canada’s Future Fighter requirement and because we expect a draft RFP for Future Fighter sometime in 2019, we thought this would be a good time to take a look at all the potential contenders for a CF-18 replacement, so in this issue we invite you to get all the very latest on the potential contenders (including Eurofighter Typhoon) in our Future Fighter Jet Overview.

 

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