Military Embedded Systems

Manned-unmanned teaming demoed in virtual environment


August 04, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Boeing photo.

CHICAGO, Ill. A Boeing-led team has demonstrated manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capabilities in a virtual environment using the Navy’s MQ-25TM Stingray unmanned aerial refueler, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne command-and-control aircraft, and the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

The demonstration, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, used Northrop Grumman’s portable E-2D simulator in conjunction with Boeing’s F/A-18 and MQ-25 simulations to establish a data link network that was used to supervise MQ-25 flight operations.  

The simulated mission scenarios included the E-2D acting as the air wing “tanker king” while the MQ-25 refueled the F/A-18, in addition to supervising the MQ-25 during an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission. Officials claim thatt the E-2D was able to conduct MUM-T operations with the MQ-25 using only existing operational flight program software.

The team also demonstrated how anticipated carrier air wing concepts were made routine and repeatable with the unmanned MQ-25. This required minimal changes to the F/A-18 cockpit display. Another simulation showed how an open behavioral software framework can be used to aggregate traditional unmanned system commands into an overall autonomous mission behavior, according to the company.


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