UK flight test sees largest unmanned aircraft take off from a Royal Navy aircraft carrier.
Qinetiq to lead MAPLE phase four
Qinetiq will lead phase four of the Maritime Autonomous Platform Exploitation (MAPLE) project for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) under a £4.5million contract announced on 16 August.
The MAPLE project, being carried out by Qinetiq in partnership with BAE Systems, SeeByte and Thales, seeks to demonstrate and de-risk the integration of multiple unmanned systems into the combat system of a Royal Navy warship.
Under phase three of the MAPLE project, Qinetiq and its partners developed and built a technology demonstrator called Autonomous Control Exploitation Realisation (ACER), a deployable prototype which is based on Dstl’s Open Architecture Combat System. ACER provides the means by which the result of MAPLE work can be effectively demonstrated in a variety of situations.
Phase four of the project will continue to evolve this design, validate its architecture and extend it to include communications. Advances in capability will also be demonstrated through a series of synthetic experiments at Qinetiq’s Portsdown site followed by live exercises.
The project will build on the success of Unmanned Warrior 2016, which saw the successful integration of data sourced from 25 unmanned air, surface and underwater vehicles from 12 organisations through ACER.
Stuart Hider, director, maritime programmes, Qinetiq said: ‘Through effective collaboration we are building on the ACER system’s success at Unmanned Warrior. MAPLE is a key project in unlocking the huge potential of unmanned vehicles and autonomous systems in safeguarding sovereign interests.’
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