Airbus & Schiebel test manned-unmanned helicopter teaming

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The Schiebel S-100 (foreground) and H145 conducted a MUM-T demonstration to the highest rated level on interoperability. (Airbus)

Airbus Helicopters and Schiebel have conducted testing on a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) concept using a manned Airbus H145 and an unmanned Schiebel S-100.

Conducted with the support of the Austrian Armaments and Defence Technology Agency, the two aircraft flew a number of different scenarios including the detection of objects hidden in places not accessible by larger manned helicopters. The tests were flown using the highest level of interoperability (LOI), LOI-5 which allowed the S-100 to be fully controlled and piloted by an operator in the H145.

“Manned-Unmanned Teaming multiplies the capabilities of both systems”, Mark R. Henning, Program Manager at Airbus Helicopters said in a statement. “Smaller UAS with vertical take-off and landing capabilities can, for example, fly around obstacles as trees or buildings closer than a helicopter could. They are able to explore unknown territory and deliver information to the helicopter crew which is operating from a safe position and which can then step in with the helicopter’s superior effects, having received a clear picture from the UAS.

“Our airborne MUM-T management system will become a highly attractive feature for our entire product range including the NH90, NFH, and the Tiger together with the H145 as it adds an extremely valuable operational capability.”

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(Airbus)