Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT), a rapidly growing practice among air forces around the world, has come to the U.K.
Leonardo Helicopters has successfully demonstrated a new system involving a Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter and a semi-autonomous UAV during Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) trials by The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
As part of the trials, the helicopter crew controlled the UAV from the helicopter. Integrating control of the UAV into the Wildcat Mission System helped to reduce the pilots’ workload allowing them to focus more on the mission .
This is the first time that such an integrated capability has been demonstrated in the UK on a military aircraft, Leonardo said.
“Combining the strengths of manned and unmanned platforms, MUM-T has the potential to play a transformative role by increasing the situational awareness, tempo, lethality, survivability and combat mass of aviation forces, significantly reducing crew workload allowing pilots to focus on the mission at hand,” the company added. “This successful demonstration is now expected to inform the MUMT capability roadmap for both the UK MoD and Leonardo.”
“The development of the Wildcat integrated MUMT solution has been impressive, culminating in the successful demonstration of the capability on AWE 19 in a series of representative military vignettes,” said Maj Benjamin Thomas, of the Military Adviser Platform Systems Division at DSTL. MUM-T has undoubtedly the potential to be a game-changing capability for aviation operating in the land environment, increasing both situational awareness and survivability.”
“The success of this manned-unmanned trial highlights that Leonardo and the UK MoD are investing together in the future of UK rotorcraft engineering and it demonstrates further the value of a long-term partnering approach in terms of capability development,” said Nick Whitney, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters (UK).
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