New unmanned wingman tech unveiled
Flight test demonstrates increased combat capability through manned-unmanned teaming system
MCKINNEY, TX. (September 29, 2021) – Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, and the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense Strategic Capabilities Office completed a successful flight test of new Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) technology at a Department of Defense Flight Test Range, in late August 2021.
The flight test demonstrated three unmanned aircraft that collaborated with each other and a human operator supervising completion of a simulated tactical mission. Using a Human Machine Interface, the human operator set a mission objective for the unmanned aircraft and then supervised conduct of the mission. The unmanned aircraft then collaboratively developed and executed the necessary tactics to fulfill the mission.
“This is a ground-breaking development in the race to fly autonomous aircraft as wingmen for human pilots,” said Brad Tousley, vice president for Advanced Concepts & Technology at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s technology allowed a human to set the mission and step back as unmanned aircraft decided how to carry out and execute a complex tactical mission directed by the human.”
During the August flight test, the team achieved its primary goal of demonstrating collaborative behavior in an operationally representative environment. The unmanned aircraft collected the types of simulated sensor data that enable crewed fighter aircraft in combat scenarios. Future flight tests will continue maturing the system.
“Raytheon Intelligence & Space is using advanced software that allows a flight of unmanned aircraft to collaborate among themselves to execute a complex mission assigned and supervised by a human pilot,” said Tex Clark, director for Advanced Mission Systems at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “We’ve packaged all elements of our tech into a system that is controlled by aircrews from a Human Machine Interface. The RI&S system is packaged, deployable and has already been tested at multiple military test ranges.”
The core of the system is an architecture that has been under development for 10 years. Raytheon Intelligence & Space continues to build out the architecture by extending the library of behaviors with an open architecture that allows flexibility to integrate new or existing vehicles and payloads. A software development kit also allows third parties to introduce other autonomous behaviors to support future missions.
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About Raytheon Intelligence & Space
Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, training, and cyber and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers in more than 46 countries around the world. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the business generated $15 billion in adjusted pro forma annual revenue in 2020 and has 37,000 employees worldwide. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies Corporation.