US Navy MUM-T demonstration sees Super Hornet control three UAVs simultaneously
The USN has announced a successful MUM-T demonstration between a F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block III fighter jet paired with three UAVs.
The Super Hornet managed to command and control all of the uncrewed systems, though the exact type of the latter were not disclosed in a 15 July statement from the USN.
The event was hosted at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division facility in Point Mugu, California. It involved four flight tests supported by Air Test and Evaluation Squadrons (VX) 23 and 31, with industry involvement from Boeing and BAE Systems.
'During the flight tests, F/A-18 pilots entered commands into a third-party tablet instructing the UAVs to perform various maneuvers used in combat missions,' the USN noted.
It added: 'The tablet was connected to the Block III’s adjunct processor, known as the Distributed Targeting Processor – Networked (DTP-N), which transmitted these commands to the UAVs. The UAVs successfully carried out all commands given by the pilots.'
Such demonstrations are drawn up to help evaluate current and future airborne capabilities potentially allowing the USN to extend reach and increase range from enemy fire.
'This capability could also enable pilots to delegate tasks or incorporate UAVs into missions such as patrolling airspace, fueling aircraft or serving as a communication relay node,' the USN added.
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