In partnership with engineers from Leonardo UK, Anduril Industries has completed a series of live trials of new technologies which will underpin the development of Air Launched Effects (ALE) capabilities, which include releasing and controlling drones in mid-air from host aircraft.
The joint trials were conducted at Predannack Airfield in Cornwall in December 2022, using Crewed-UnCrewed Teaming (CUC-T) control software and Anduril’s ALTIUS-600 UAS.
According to Anduril, the joint team was able to evaluate and gather real-world performance data on a range of hardware and software components critical to future multi-asset collaboration drone capabilities.
The team developed and practiced drone to aircraft coordination, flight maneuvers, waypoints, loiter positions, and overall command and control necessary for multiple aircraft to function together autonomously.
Anduril’s ALTIUS is designed for missions including standoff ISR&T, kinetic engagement, RF decoy, SIGINT, comms relay, and RF/cyber warfare. Like all Anduril systems, the ALTIUS platform is autonomous, giving one operator the ability to control multiple assets. ALTIUS-600 is designed to be launched from any platform, including common launch tubes on fixed-wing aircraft or rotor-wing aircraft in both high and low altitude.
Anduril believes ALTIUS is a leap ahead in autonomous technology, with the ability to operate alone or in teams, and is designed to increase the survivability of military aircraft. By launching teams of sensor-equipped drones or other payloads that can then fly miles ahead of the aircraft, crews can stay out of harm’s way and deliver effects with extreme precision.
The December trials included the first ALTIUS flight in the UK and were an important step in gathering real-world performance data on hardware and software components that will be essential in developing future ALE capabilities.