LONDON, 16 March 2005. The U.K. Ministry of Defence and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today announced a collaborative programme to determine the military benefit of Unmanned Combat Air Systems for future coalition operations.
The Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) programme will include experimentation in a real-time simulation environment centered at the U.S. Air Force's Simulation and Analysis Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and integration with assets in both countries.
The MoD's Defence Science & Technology Laboratory and DARPA, working in concert with U.S. and U.K. service personnel, will develop appropriate coalition concepts of operation, assess interoperability issues and risks, and determine measures of effectiveness in addition to developing and managing the simulation environment.
The programme will culminate in an effectiveness demonstration involving live and virtual manned and unmanned assets from both nations operating in a networked coalition warfare scenario. The information generated by this unique collaboration will aid both nations in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of unmanned combat air vehicles as components of a future coalition offensive air capability. The program will begin this month and is scheduled to conclude in July 2009.
"This is a crucial step in the development of our knowledge of the capabilities surrounding Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, a potential key component of future air capability for our Armed Forces," said the British Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Bach. "Our collaboration with the U.S. on this Project Arrangement when taken together with the use of cutting-edge U.K. research and dynamic operational input will provide us with a better understanding of the potential employment of UCAVs in future coalition operations."
For more information on DARPA's Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems, see http://www.darpa.mil/j-ucas/fact_sheet.htm.