WASHINGTON — One of the leaders in the global defense industry – BAE Systems together with the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office [SCO] conducted flight tests to test the interaction between a fighter jet and an unmanned aerial vehicle.
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The unmanned vehicle used for the tests was the Manned-Unmanned Teaming [MUM-T] autonomous vehicle. MUM-T aims to assist in the process of integrating unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] to work with combat aircraft. Standard military drones operate with their wireless communications network, solving dozens of tasks in a short time. In this way, they contact the ground drone operator or the fighter pilot in a joint mission. MUM-T lets the manned platforms connect with UAVs at different Levels of Interoperability [LOI], enhancing situational awareness, decision making, and mission effectiveness by allowing both manned aircraft and ground forces to share the products and capabilities of the UAVs.
BAE Systems says the flight tests were aimed at testing joint sensors [those of the fighter jet and those of the MUM-T] during a simulated combat mission. The test showed that MUM-T can autonomously decide on the tactical end of the mission and at the same time reconfigure its software architecture to the next stage or another mission. The company says that MUM-T has a flexible software architecture, allowing a third partner-participant in the combat mission to enter their algorithms or data.
“The development of autonomous technology is crucial to protect our warfighters against emerging threats,” said Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems. “This flight test demonstrates our team’s commitment to accelerate the deployment of reliable and innovative manned-unmanned teaming solutions for mission success.”
MUM-T will continue to develop its operational capabilities in the coming years, the company said. More flight tests are forthcoming this year and next. The next flight test [it is not said when] will show whether MUM-T technology can allow additional integration of a second manned fighter jet or another unmanned aerial vehicle.
More about MUM-T
BAE Systems says that MUM-T works so well in a team thanks to artificial intelligence navigation solutions that build the autonomous system of the unmanned aerial vehicle. In the future, MUM-T may be the solution to reduce the number of teams used, both on land and in the air or at sea. Ie MUM-T can cover many heterogeneous platforms and domains at one time.
In addition to the battlefield, MUM-T can find civilian applications. This technology is expected to help put out fires, various search and rescue operations, greater security and efficiency in controlling air traffic, or urban mobility.
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