Boeing has been awarded a three-year $9.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop and demonstrate technologies that enable multiple small unmanned aerial vehicles to coordinate with each other and a manned airborne control station to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The Foxhunt multi-small unmanned aerial system cooperative control demonstration will leverage Boeing’s networked systems expertise and technology advancements.
“The focus of the Foxhunt program is the airborne control of a varied mix of unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Patrick Stokes of Boeing Research & Technology, the company’s advanced, central research, technology and innovation organization that is managing the research project. “It’s part of a grander vision outlined by the Air Force Research Laboratory to include the air launch, command-and-control and airborne recovery of unmanned aerial systems–all from an airborne mother ship.”
Stokes said the unmanned aerial systems will be an extension of the manned mother ship’s sensor and weapon suites, improving situational awareness and intelligence, as well as surveillance and reconnaissance reach, allowing for safer stand-off distances.