Qinetiq has successfully completed what the company says is the UK’s first demonstration of a manned-unmanned teaming using a standard Airbus Helicopter H125 working in tandem with a semi-autonomous drone.
Qinetiq teams semi-autonomous drone with H125 helicopter
The demonstration took place on June 19 over the British Army’s Salisbury Plain training area in the southwest of England. The two aircraft worked together to identify potential targets in a specific area.
Onboard the helicopter an operator was able to observe the images that were sent back from the semi-autonomous drone and only if a decision was required did the drone operator intervene.
Flight Global reports that the work will be delivered to the Service in September by the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory as part of a wider warfighting experiment.
Remotely controlling the semi-autonomous drone took place through a tablet computer on board the helicopter. The controls can be transferred from one person to another as required.
“Not only does this ensure an unmanned drone can always be controlled by the person best placed to make decisions, it also paves the way for a more collaborative approach to using defence assets,” says Qinetiq.
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