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Iranian website reports pilot dies after fighter jet crashes

FOX News

TEHRAN, Iran – The website of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard reports that a pilot has died after his Sukhoi-22 jet fighter-bomber crashed in the country's south. The Saturday report on sepahnews.com said the plane was taking part in a morning exercise in southern Fars province when it crashed. Iran has a history of air accidents blamed on its aging aircraft and poor maintenance. Iran has both Russian-made and U.S.-made fighter planes. The U.S. aircraft were delivered to Tehran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the western-backed monarchy.


Researchers, regulators prepare for drones to fill US skies

FOX News

Researchers hope their ongoing studies will help the regulatory side of the drone industry catch up with the technology. While drone manufacturers and companies investing in unmanned flight are eager to reap the economic benefits, industry leaders and regulators agree the advance safety research is crucial to prevent crowded skies from turning into the Wild West. While drone manufacturers and companies investing in unmanned flight are eager to reap the economic benefits, industry leaders and regulators agree the advance safety research is crucial to prevent crowded skies from turning into the Wild West. Researchers hope their ongoing studies will help the regulatory side of the drone industry catch up with the technology.


Homeland Security concerned about commercial drones being used for 'nefarious purposes'

FOX News

Combined Joint Task Force officials echoed these comments, saying that "the Coalition takes this threat seriously and has implemented increased force protection measures and improved UAV counter-measures to protect Coalition forces and our partners on the ground." They also stated ISIS drones will not dramatically impact the battlefield, but add that "the Coalition remains responsive to this emerging threat through both active and passive measures, and we continue to improve force protection measures for all our Coalition personnel and Iraqi and Syrian partner forces." So what does increased weaponized commercial drone activity overseas mean to the United States? The Federal Aviation Administration estimates small, hobbyist unmanned aircraft system purchases may grow from 1.9 million in 2016 to as many as 4.3 million by 2020.


Drone impedes Arizona firefighters' efforts to battle wildfire

FOX News

Arizona officials are concerned drones are getting in the way of their ability to fight wildfire. The National Interagency Fire Center reports that there were 41 drone incursions in the U.S. last year while aerial firefighting was underway. In a Fact Sheet compiled by the U.S. Forest Service, officials outlined the scope of the FAA regulations surrounding Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). A spokesperson from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) tells Fox News that it is against federal regulations per the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 43 CFR 9212.1(f), it is illegal to resist or interfere with the efforts of firefighter(s) to extinguish a fire.


DARK SKIES OVER SYRIA US takes out armed Iranian drone as it moves on coalition troops

FOX News

A U.S. aircraft shot down an armed Iranian drone advancing on coalition forces in southern Syria on Tuesday, Fox News confirmed. The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle about 12:30 a.m. after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces. An U.S Air Force F-15 Eagle fighter flies during a certification of the arresting gear last May. The coalition has made it clear to all parties publicly and through the deconfliction line with Russian forces that the demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.


Drones in aerial dogfight

FOX News

Experts at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School have deployed drone swarms in a first-of-its-kind aerial dogfight test. In a statement released Friday, Georgia Tech said that that the test involving opposing swarms of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) took place Feb. 9, 2017 at Camp Roberts in Monterey County, California, a National Guard facility. Algorithms were at the controls of the aircraft, according to Georgia Tech, while a safety pilot was nearby to take control of any aircraft if needed. "This encounter will serve to advance and inform future efforts in developing autonomous vehicle capabilities."


Snag drones in midair?

FOX News

The U.S. military is developing a fairy-tale-inspired "Gremlin" program that aims to launch and retrieve drones in midair. "Gremlins" are a swarm of drones that can be deployed from a manned aircraft, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the branch of the U.S. military charged with developing new and innovative technologies for the nation's war fighters. The Gremlin program will allow aircraft pilots to launch the drones as needed, and call them back to the transport plane while both are still in flight. DARPA announced the Gremlin concept in 2015, when the agency called for proof-of-concept designs for the first phase of the project. Now, DARPA is moving on to the second phase, which will see the continued development of two ideas, according to Scott Wierzbanowski, DARPA program manager.


Oklahoma lawmaker wants to protect people who destroy drones flying on their property

FOX News

Trespassing drones are becoming such a problem, says one Oklahoma lawmaker, that he wants people to be able to shoot them down without facing civil liability. State Sen. Ralph Shortey, a Republican who represents the Oklahoma City area, authored a bill that exempts people from lawsuits if they damage drones that veer onto their property, according to multiple reports. The lawmaker's measure unanimously passed out of the state Senate Judiciary Committee in late February and is headed for a full vote in the upper chamber sometime this month, according to ABC-TV affiliate KTUL.com The measure applies to drones that are not under Federal Aviation Administration regulation. "There (are) privacy issues that have not been addressed by any of the FAA regulations or state law," Shortey was quoted by KTUL as saying.


Military gets a digital pilot

FOX News

Two teams are currently joining forces with DARPA to make ALIAS a reality: Aurora Flight Sciences and Lockheed Martin Sikorsky. At the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky testing, it was clear that the tech is so smart that someone on the ground can pilot it effectively with a bare minimum-- if any-- flight training. Even in highly-advanced, highly-automated aircraft, pilots must manage a high volume of emerging data, handle complex tasks and rapidly respond to any emergency that might arise. As a digital teammate, ALIAS could free up the highly skilled human pilots to focus on tasks that require their special skill sets, talent and experience.


NEW COMBAT WEAPON Iran unveils attack drone, claims based off US aircraft

FOX News

Iran's Revolutionary Guard unveiled a new attack drone which is similar to a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle captured five years ago and is capable of carrying bombs, state media reported on Saturday. The drone, called the "Saegheh," or Thunderbolt, was unveiled at an expo showcasing the latest achievements by the Revolutionary Guard. This photo released on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, shows a new attack drone called Saegheh or Thunderbolt in an undisclosed location in Iran. "This long-range drone is capable of hitting four targets with smart precision-guided bombs with high accuracy," the head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace arm, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA, Reuters reported. The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the drone is similar to the RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone used by the U.S. Iran's state-run Press TV said the long-range drone can carry four precision-guided bombs.