BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to develop an attritable air vehicle system for the U.S Skyborg programme.

Under this programme, which has a contract ceiling of up to $400 million, the company will compete to develop a digital design for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of autonomous functions.

BAE Systems say that the Skyborg programme is intended to create a low-cost, easily replaceable, autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle that will partner with manned aircraft to increase air combat power.

Teamed with a manned aircraft, the UAVs will ‘leverage autonomy to disrupt and defeat adversaries’ in contested environments.

“The need to generate combat power faster than our adversaries is critical to address near-peer threats,” said Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems.

The UAVs will be designed with BAE Systems’ autonomous systems, which include sensors and payloads that communicate across a shared network with manned aircraft. This modular and common system approach, say BAE, “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 enables manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T), which allows UAVs 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.”

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David Flandry

Weapons carried by the UAVs?

4th watch

an this tech be shared with UK arm of BAE.

Watcherzero

Dont get too excited theyve awarded almost 20 companies concept design work on this project.