Schiebel Camcopter used by OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine made its first flight.
On Oct. 23, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) successfully completed the first flight of the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 in eastern Ukraine.
The UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), flown by several operators across the world, are provided, flown and maintained by the Austrian vendor Schiebel, under contract to the OSCE, and operated under the authority and direction of the SMM, with the Mission’s monitors in close attendance.
The task of the S-100 is to provide complementary aerial information-gathering that will be used to monitor the general security situation in Ukraine and the shaky ceasefire. Furthermore, the Camcopter will be used for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol of 5 September and the Minsk Memorandum of Sept. 19, 2014.
The video below purportedly shows the attack of the Hezbollah drone.
It is impossible to determine the type of UAV used to conduct the air strike; even if it appears to be a quite simple drone (at least based on the symbology of the onboard camera which filmed video released by the group), it’s probably armed (provided it really fired the missile) and possibly accurate enough to target and strike individuals on the ground.
H/T to Matt Fanning and Guido Olimpio for the link to the video
Did you know RAF delivered its five Reaper UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) as if they were model kits?
The Royal Air Force has just deployed five more MQ-9 Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft that have joined the five Reapers already there and support ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) operations in Afghanistan. Interestingly, the drones are delivered as model kits and re-assembled at Kandahar airfield as the following images, released by the UK MoD.
Along with the images of the British have also released some figures about the air strikes against Taliban conducted by the RAF unmanned aircraft in theater with LGBs (Laser-Guided Bombs) and Hellfire missiles:
“In over 54,000 hours of operations using Reaper in Afghanistan, only 459 weapons have been fired, which is less than one weapon for every 120 hours of flying.”
These could be the latest version of the rarely seen before Gorgon Stare (formerly known as the Wide Area Airborne Surveillance System – WAAS), a pod-based sensor package used to track people, vehicles, and objects in areas of +10 square kilometers.
The ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) pod is integrated in a networked imagery distribution system to provide hi-resolution, real-time full motion video of activities of interest.
Usually, a Gorgon Stare system is made of two pods, one carrying networking and communications equipment, the other with Visible/IR Camera Arrays and Image Processing module: interestingly, the MQ-9 shown in the picture carries two seemingly identical pods (with EO/IR turrets).
Drones used by ISIS militants are remotely-controlled products you can buy online for about 500 USD rather than something comparable to real UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).
Even though some media outlets reported that ISIS have acquired unmanned capabilities, after a video posted on Youtube showed Islamic militants using a “surveillance drone” in Syria, the technology used by the terrorist organization is something quite amateurish.
Indeed, the footage was filmed by a Phantom FC40, a famous commercial remote-controlled quad-copter that, according to the vendor DJI Innovations, comes with a smart camera, which supports 720p/30fps HD video and can be controlled (and maybe hacked) through an iOS or Android app running over a 2.4G Wi-Fi connection.
Even though they probably found the imagery from the Phantom useful to get a rough idea of the enemy positions before the attack, this commercial drone does not enable the militants to scout details out from long distance in real time nor wait for hours until relevant people appears on the scene as real UAVs can do.
In other words, a Phantom FC40 is far from being the sophisticated UAS (Unmanned Air System) that would give ISIS at least a basic unmanned capability as that owned by Hamas. But it gave the militants some exposure and most probably worked for their propaganda purposes.