QinetiQ and BAE Systems collaborate on Autonomous Uncrewed Air Systems
The framework agreement will explore the potential to collaborate and develop a family of UAS, and associated mission management systems, to support interoperability with existing and future crewed and uncrewed systems; generating operational effects and providing a concentration of combat air power.
The autonomous mission management system enables operators to use a mix of crewed and uncrewed assets collaboratively on the battlefield, all managed by a human decision maker.
In the first stage of the collaboration, the joint team will explore the use of BAE Systems’ autonomous mission management system on uncrewed platforms developed by both companies to work alongside each other - and with existing and future crewed and uncrewed combat aircraft.
Dave Holmes, Managing Director of FalconWorks, the advanced research and technology division for BAE Systems’ Air business, said: “The UK and other nations want to field high performance uncrewed air systems capable of delivering military effects across a range of operational scenarios. Our agreement with QinetiQ will see us work together to deliver this capability to our customers.”
Mick Andrae, Global Campaign Director, Robotics & Autonomous Systems, QinetiQ said: “Our customers have a growing need to increase combat mass, protect lives and reduce costs. Our collaboration with BAE Systems enables future mission-critical operations to be conducted without the traditional costs associated. All of this will provide our customers with better intelligence, protection and capability to defend against adversaries and protect our national interests.”
Under the framework agreement signed at DSEI in London, each company will continue to develop their own UAS aligned to a common product strategy that will enable effective collaboration on existing and future crewed and uncrewed platform concept development.
The framework agreement will see BAE Systems and QinetiQ continue to work together with the relevant regulatory bodies to help develop the appropriate clearance processes for autonomous systems.
At DSEI, both BAE Systems’ and QinetiQ’s concepts can be seen on the BAE Systems stand H3-110.