Showing posts with label MRTT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MRTT. Show all posts

27 June, 2023

Air Defender 23 demonstrates transatlantic partnership

Airbus military aircraft are at the heart of Air Defender, the largest deployment exercise of air forces in NATO's history, under the lead of Germany.

The sheer numbers alone are impressive: 25 nations with 250 aircraft, and some 10,000 service members have come together in Germany to re-confirm their commitment to the transatlantic alliance. The Eurofighter, Tornado, A400M, and A330 MRTT, all Airbus Defence and Space platforms, are playing a crucial role in Air Defender, the largest deployment of NATO air forces in the alliance’s history, which takes place between 12 to 23 June, 2023. 

“As a staunch believer in a strong European pillar of NATO, I am very thankful for this signal of solidarity in challenging times. Air Defender not only demonstrates the strength of the transatlantic partnership, it also shows the interoperability of allied forces. Never has the importance of collaboration and interoperability been greater than today.”

Airbus Defence and Space CEO Mike Schoellhorn "Air forces of Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US have been training together in Air Defender. Under the command of the German Air Force, the goal of the exercise is to optimise and expand cooperation among participating nations, while demonstrating strength within the NATO alliance: to train the joint response capability of the 25 partner air forces in a crisis situation. The scenario is modelled on an Article 5 assistance scenario. 

 A total of 250 platforms, including 23 different aircraft types, are stationed in Germany and  US Air Forces in Europe locations, as well as at NATO bases such as Wunstorf (Lower Saxony), Schleswig/Jagel & Hohn (Schleswig-Holstein), Geilenkirchen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Spangdahlem (Rhineland-Palatinate), Lechfeld (Bavaria) and Neuburg (Bavaria). For the exercise, hundreds of these aircraft deployed from the United States, where they are assigned to units of the US Air National Guard.

29 March, 2023

Airbus taking the first step towards Autonomous Formation Flight and Autonomous Air-to-Air refuelling......

Airbus achieves in-flight autonomous guidance and control of a drone from a tanker aircraft

Airbus Defence and Space and the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Airbus UpNext, have achieved in-flight autonomous guidance and control of a drone using an A310 MRTT.

In a first step towards Autonomous Formation Flight and Autonomous Air-to-Air refuelling (A4R), the technologies demonstrate a significant breakthrough for future aerial operations involving manned and unmanned assets. 

These cutting-edge, ‘Made in Europe’ solutions could reduce crew fatigue and the potential for human error, as well as minimising crew-training costs and providing more effective operations.

“The success of this first flight-test campaign paves the way for developing autonomous and unmanned air-to-air refuelling technologies,” said Jean Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space. “Even though we are at an early stage, we have achieved this within just one year and are on the right track for manned-unmanned teaming and future air force operations where fighters and mission aircraft will fly jointly with drone swarms.”

Known as Auto’Mate, the technologies were integrated on an A310 MRTT flying testbed, which took off from Getafe, Spain, on 21 March, and on several DT-25 target drones, acting as receiver aircraft and flying from Arenosillo Test Centre (CEDEA) at Huelva, Spain.

Over the waters of the Gulf of Cadiz, the control of the drone transitioned from a ground station to the A310 MRTT, autonomously guiding the DT-25 to the in-flight refuelling position.

During almost six hours of flight test, the four successively launched receivers were sequentially controlled and commanded thanks to artificial intelligence and cooperative control algorithms, without human interaction. The different receivers were controlled and guided until a minimum distance of 150 feet (around 45 metres) from the A310 MRTT.