QinetiQ to Build UAS Flight Test Range in Australia

QinetiQ to Build Drone Flight Test Range in Australia – link

Source: Defense World

Article Headlines

  • QinetiQ Australia has been awarded a contract to design and construct a UAS flight test range (FTR) on behalf of the Queensland Government
  • The FTR will be located at Cloncurry Aerodrome in North West Queensland and will consist of access to a commercial quality runway, dedicated hangar and workshop, range control center, range control system including a primary surveillance radar and other surveillance and tracking equipment, dedicated airspace and regulatory approvals for UAS FTR operations
  • Construction of the facility is expected to be finished later this year
  • The initial capability offered by the facility will support all weight classes of UAS for routine flying operations, demonstration activities and test and evaluation trials of moderate complexity
  • Future phases of development will support the full range of ground and flight test activity, providing an Australian home for the conduct of highly complex developmental test programs

Overview & Comments

  • Australia is having a busy & interesting year
  • Recently the Boeing-led Australian industry team rolled out its first ‘Loyal Wingman’ platform of which the RAAF plans to initially purchase three platforms named ATS – Airpower Teaming System. See “Boeing rolls out Australia’s first ‘Loyal Wingman’ combat drone”
  • In April the DoD contracted additional MQ-4C Tritons. See “DoD to contract additional Triton UAVs for Australia” 
  • In March the four shortlisted companies were announced for the Land 129 Shadow replacement program: Insitu Pacific, Textron Systems Australia, Leidos Australia (partnered with Aeronautics) & Raytheon Australia
  • Towards the end of 2019 the MQ-9B Sky Guardian was selected for the RAAF’s Project Air 7003
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