BERLIN - In Europe’s first large-scale manned-unmanned teaming flight demo, led by Airbus, two fighter jets, one helicopter and five unmanned remote carriers teamed up - and helped to rid the world of a fictional rogue warlord. This multi-domain flight demo paves the way towards the Future Combat Air System, Airbus reports.Continue reading original article.
The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:
12 December 2022 -A team of specialists from Airbus, the Bundeswehr, the Finnish Defence Forces and industry partners missile company MBDA Germany, networking data link provider Patria, autonomy and mission technology startup HAT.tec and drone launch system provider Robonic teamed to play out a scenario in which two allied fighter jets are deployed, and the success of the entire mission depends on them. For only if they take out the rogue warlord's ground based air defense can the special operations team fly in by helicopter, capture them and bring them before an international court. The manned-unmanned demo mission was pulled off in the late summer of 2022. "With our Multi-Domain Flight Demo, or MDFD, we demonstrated for the first time in Europe how manned-unmanned teaming capabilities and functionalities with up to ten connected assets work in a real-life inspired scenario and under near operational conditions," explains Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus.
In the demo, a Learjet 35 from Airbus subsidiary GFD acted as a surrogate fighter, with the crew on board commanding the remote carriers, five modified Airbus Do-DT25 drones. Two of them were equipped with Electronic Support Measures (ESM) sensors from MBDA to detect the fictional rogue warlord’s ground air missile positions. The remaining three RCs were equipped with Electro Optical (EO) cameras that recorded and confirmed the locations of the air defences visually. All assets were connected by a networking data link from Patria. Additionally, one simulated fighter acting as a command and control aircraft was visible on the screens in the visitor tent where the contractor representatives from the German and Finnish armed forces followed the demo.
Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics