FALLS CHURCH, Va., 17 Sept. 2008.Raytheon Company has developed an advanced common ground control system (CGCS) for the U.S. Air Force to address mission capability needs for the Predator unmanned aircraft system.
"We've been working with combat-tested UAS operators and trainers for more than two years to develop a CGCS that puts the human operator into the UAS 'cockpit' to dramatically improve the way he or she operates unmanned aircraft systems," says Mark Bigham, business development director for Raytheon's Intelligence and Information Systems business.
"The results have been exciting," Bigham adds. "Our unsolicited bid for the Predator ground control system will address significant decreases in required aircrew manpower, faster training, and greatly reduce mishap rates previously attributed to human-machine interface or pilot error. It also enables more aircraft to be controlled by the same number of operators, increasing more unmanned aircraft systems in operation."
The proposed CGCS is compatible with improved Predator operations centers being fielded to the U.S. Air National Guard.
Bigham says: "The CGCS will help the current Predator contractor maximize the number of unmanned aircraft systems operators can fly, ultimately helping to meet Secretary of Defense Gates' goal of 'more ISR now.'"
Raytheon officials intend to produce the first CGCS system in less than 12 months with data support from platform primes and adequate funding support from the Department of Defense.
Raytheon officials predict that during the next 10 years, the company can save the Air Force more than $500 million.