BAE Systems has been selected to provide key components of the Loyal Wingman unmanned jet aircraft being developed by Boeing Defence Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Adelaide-based BAE will supply the unmanned flight vehicle management technology, simulation capabilities, flight control computers and navigation equipment for the aircraft.
BAE has considerable experience in unmanned aerial vehicles and has conducted extensive research with the University of Sydney on ‘swarming’, or use of multiple drones flying in company.
The announcement came as The Boeing Airpower Teaming System (BATS) rolled out the first of three prototype aircraft being constructed.
This is the first military aircraft to be fully designed and built locally in 50 years.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, Gabby Costigan, said: “I am delighted to be working with Boeing Australia to bring a new defence capability to life that also offers enormous potential for the RAAF as well as future export markets.
“This project highlights our commitment to leading the development of new technologies and collaborating to advance autonomous capabilities.
“It is also an exciting opportunity to work together again, delivering a world-leading programme using home-grown engineering expertise.”
BAE Systems Australia joins over 35 Australian companies involved in manufacturing the Loyal Wingman.
The aircraft rolled out today (pictured) serves as the foundation for systems testing and integration.
BAE Systems Australia worked on a number of early unmanned flight vehicles, includfing the Jindivik and Turana Target Drones, GTV Glide Bomb and the Ikara unmanned torpedo delivery system.
Boeing Airpower Teaming System program director, Shane Arnott, said: “The Loyal Wingman is a historic development program for the Australian aerospace industry, Boeing and our entire industry team, and we’ve worked together with speed and agility to deliver this smart unmanned aircraft.
“We’ve leveraged the skills of the local supply chain to build a Loyal Wingman that will work together with other airpower teaming assets to provide an unmatched capability for Australia and for our global customers.”
Picture: BAE Systems Australia
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