General Atomics shows ability for pilots to control unmanned aircraft with tablet computer via data link

Sept. 16, 2021
Visual friendly interface presents data from friendly drones and offers a way to issue commands to individual unmanned aircraft or to networked groups.

WASHINGTON  – A major U.S. defense contractor conducted a demonstration to show how combat pilots in fourth- and fifth-generation jet fighters will work together with advanced semi-autonomous loyal wingman-type unmanned aircraft in the future. The Drive reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

16 Sept. 2021 -- Researchers at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in Poway, Calif., enabled a pilot in a specially configured Beechcraft King Air twin-engine turboprop to issue commands to a stealthy Avenger unmanned jet aircraft through software app loaded onto the pilot's tablet computer.

The test, over southern California on 25 Aug.,shows how Avengers, or other loyal wingman-type drones, might operate while networked together via data link with manned fighters to conduct aerial combat missions.

The drones would provide increased sensor range and coverage across a broad area for the entire group, and their sensor data could fuze together with information from other offboard sources to give fighter pilots significantly increased battlespace awareness and help them determine the best courses of action to attack or avoid threats.

Related: Air Force chooses Harris to build HH-VDL video data link handheld radios for situational awareness

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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