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DSEI 2023: BAE Systems and QinetiQ ink UAS partnership

13th September 2023 - 13:30 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


Both QinetiQ and BAE Systems will continue to develop their own UAS aligned to a common product strategy that will enable effective collaboration. (Photo: Author)

The initial phase of the collaboration involves testing BAE Systems' autonomous mission management system on both companies' UAS.

BAE Systems and QinetiQ announced on 12 September that they have signed a framework agreement to collaborate on UAS capabilities and mission management systems.

Under the agreement, the partners will explore the potential to collaborate and develop a family of UAS and associated systems to support interoperability with current and future aircraft.

The first stage will involve exploration of how BAE Systems' autonomous mission management system implemented on both companies’ UAS can perform together, as well as with other crewed and uncrewed aircraft.

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From the BAE Systems side, this will likely be the UAS Concept 2 fixed-wing medium-sized UAS designed to substitute or augment existing platforms that conduct attack ISR and 'control of the air roles'. 

QinetiQ, for its part, just announced the launch of its Jackdaw disposable UAS platform that was designed for swarming and collaborative autonomous operations, including crewed-uncrewed teaming.

QinetiQ is collaborating with BAE and Inzpire in the development of Jackdaw. An agreement is already in place to explore the use of BAE Systems' autonomous goal-based mission management system on Jackdaw.

Dave Holmes, managing director of FalconWorks, the advanced research and technology division for BAE Systems’ Air business, said: ‘The UK and other nations want to field high-performance uncrewed air systems capable of delivering military effects across a range of operational scenarios. Our agreement with QinetiQ will see us work together to deliver this capability to our customers.’

Under the framework agreement signed at DSEI, each company will continue to develop their own UAS aligned to a common product strategy that will enable effective collaboration on existing and future crewed and uncrewed platform concept development.

‘Our collaboration with BAE Systems enables future mission-critical operations to be conducted without the traditional costs associated,’ global campaign director, robotics and autonomous systems at QinetiQ Mick Andrea said.

Shephard's DSEI 2023 coverage is sponsored by:

Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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