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Boeing and RAAF validate ATS digital environment capabilities

9th December 2021 - 10:57 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Boeing's Airpower Teaming System takes flight. (Photo: Australia DoD)

Boeing and the RAAF have advanced the operational capabilities of the manufacturers Airpower Teaming System in a digital environment.

Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have successfully advanced the manufacturers Airpower Teaming System (ATS) using multiple payloads, semi autonomous behaviours and executed crewed-uncrewed teaming in a digital environment.  

Boeing said in a 8 December company statement that RAAF operators involved in a multi-day exercise had worked with the ATS digital twin to 'develop and test autonomous behaviours in operational scenarios and against threats provided by Defence'.   

Testing included ATS aircraft integration validation and the aircraft operating in tandem with other Australian crewed platforms. 

Distributed sensors across the ATS uncrewed team were also employed effectively, according to Boeing, adding that these activities continue to progress earlier crewed-uncrewed interface work.

The manufacturer also explained that such work contributes to efforts to support ATS being 'offered' to other customers besides the RAAF.  

'Progress on the Airpower Teaming System’s mission system and payload development has included ground-based hardware and software in-the-loop testing, followed by surrogate flight testing of the on-board systems to support verification of the digital models,' explained Boeing.

'A digital twin of the entire aircraft has been "flown" thousands of times under different battlespace effects to test aircraft performance and maximize its deployment capability independently and in support of other aircraft.'

Australia has ordered six ATS from Boeing under the RAAF's Loyal Wingman programme designed to assess new ways forward for crewed and uncrewed teaming partnerships, together with testing AI and semi autonomous capabilities of the ATS.   

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