February 20, 2020-
As part of last week’s awarding of the Phase 1A Demonstrators contract for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), Airbus and Europe’s premier missile systems house MBDA decided to join forces to develop demonstrators for Remote Carriers.
The teaming involves MBDA focusing on the development of small and medium class platforms together and under the lead of Airbus. On its side, Airbus will address the whole Remote Carrier scope and in particular teaming intelligence, whilst focusing on medium to large platforms.
MBDA’s portfolio of capabilities brings complementary expertise into the Airbus led Remote Carrier domain and is expected to contribute significantly to the future capabilities of Air Power. As the European champion in missiles, with industrial presence in France, Germany and Spain, MBDA brings in a unique expertise in launching, flying and autonomy of small and large missiles.
Airbus, as a major European player in UAS, is building on its full scale expertise in small to large systems and in Man-Unmanned Teaming. Among its demonstrators, Airbus has operated since 2006 the Barracuda, a flying test bed for developing technologies and procedures to be used by mature next-generation UAVs to test fast reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting and battle damage assessment capabilities.
Designed to act as force multipliers, the Remote Carriers, are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which aim at reducing the risks for manned aircraft by taking over specific air operations’ roles within high risk environments, providing new air warfare capabilities and teaming in combination with and coordinated by other manned air assets.
Capable of “Cross Platform Mission Management”, the Remote Carriers will complement and augment manned fighter aircraft capabilities performing in close cooperation yet with a high degree of automation to improve the mission performance in high intensity conflicts, and increase the combat mass to better compensate limited numbers of sophisticated manned fighter aircraft.
Allowing more agile and faster adaptation and development of technologies, the Remote Carriers will drastically increase operational capabilities at a very fast pace.
Several types of Remote Carriers are being studied, including expendable swarms possibly followed by more sophisticated groups, providing a wide scope of potential missions to better support a safer penetration of manned aircraft into hostile environment.
Source : Airbus Defense and Space, Inc.
Publish date: November 2019 - Pages: 238