BAE Systems to Develop Attritable Air Vehicle Systems for USAF

By Mike Ball / 29 Oct 2020
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BAE Attritable UAVs

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to develop attritable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the U.S. Air Force’s Skyborg program. Attritable vehicles designs emphasize low cost with the ability to be reused at least several times with minimal maintenance.

The Skyborg program aims to create an autonomous UAV that will partner with manned aircraft to increase air combat power and disrupt and defeat adversaries in contested environments. Under the contract, BAE Systems will provide a digital design for such a system. The program’s development work will be conducted at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Endicott, New York.

The UAV designs will incorporate BAE Systems’ autonomous technologies, which include sensors and payloads that communicate across a shared network with manned aircraft. This modular and common system approach provides the foundation for rapid updates and integration to ensure the fleet is fielding the latest capabilities to defend against emerging threats.

The shared network will also enable manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T), allowing unmanned and manned aircraft to work together and complete missions more effectively. The network extends the reach of the fleet, while keeping the manned aircraft and personnel out of harm’s way. It will allow the UAVs to serve as the eyes and ears for pilots, collecting and sending data from the battlespace to a manned fighter.

Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems, commented: “The need to generate combat power faster than our adversaries is critical to address near-peer threats. This award will accelerate the development and deployment of manned-unmanned teaming technologies to give the U.S. Air Force a decisive edge in the battlespace.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact