The official logo of the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons:
BTW, the office — charged with developing new ways of killing people without risk — just got a new head according to Avionics Today, and he’s got a lot of money to play with:
Rear Adm. Mathias Winter was named head of the Naval Air System Command’s (NAVAIR) Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO(U&W)) during a change of command ceremony at Pax River last week.
Winter is the former commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division base in China Lake/Point Mugu, Calif.; he replaces Rear Adm. Bill Shannon, who is retiring after overseeing the office for four years. In his new role, Winter will manage a total obligation authority of more than $46 billion and lead a workforce of more than 3,800 individuals.
“Still at war, our nation faces daunting challenges across the political, military, economic, social, informational, infrastructure domains,” Winter said. “But we have a plan to tackle these challenges … This year, during this tour, my focus for PEO(U&W) builds upon that bridging and my strategic framework of people, organization and programs.”
For a detailed look at what the outfit does, see this official summary [PDF].
And do catch one of their latest editions, the WASP, launched with a handheld slingshot.
But relax, folks; they’re ‘green’ killers
And for folks who are worried about drones because they might be less than “green,” take heart! The folks with the spooky logo are also developing drones that fly on agrofuel:
The Navy reached a milestone in its quest to gain energy independence today, when an MQ-8B Fire Scout successfully flew the first unmanned biofueled flight at Webster Field in St. Inigoes, Md.
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Directorate piloted the helicopter fueled with a combination of JP-5 aviation fuel and plant-based camelina. The biofuel blend reduces carbon dioxide output by 75 percent when compared to conventional aviation fuel.
“Today’s flight marks a significant milestone with Fire Scout being the Navy’s first unmanned aircraft to use biofuel technology,” said Rear Adm. Bill Shannon, Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons. “I am very pleased we can add MQ-8B to the list of successful bioflights completed at Pax River this year, bringing us one step closer to achieving the Navy’s energy goals.”