Australia introduces unmanned aircraft from the back of a Hercules aircraft

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A first-of-its kind trial to remotely pilot a small unmanned aircraft, or as they call it, an Uninhabited Aerial System (UAS). This collaboration between Plan Jericho, 3SECFOR, 37 Squadron and Army, has the potential to open up a range of capability options for the joint force.

The trial, recently undertaken at RAAF Edinburgh, tested the viability of operating a UAS via the aircraft’s onboard Satellite Communications (SATCOM) link.

This has opened up future potential to operate UAS, or other networked capabilities, from anywhere in the world and, vice versa, demonstrating an ability to upload live imagery from offboard sensor systems.

Squadron Leader Peter Cunningham highlighted that this trial was the first time that airborne control UAS has been attempted from a C-130J Hercules.

During the airborne operation, the team were also able to capture overarching video of the trial, using the Litening sensor pod, which has recently been mounted on a pylon underneath the wing of the C-130J demonstrator.

This proof of concept further extends the connected sensor network, showing the potential to share greater amounts of information and improving decision making in the air and on the ground.

Wing Commander Hay said that this trial demonstrated how bringing people together with different interests and capabilities, promoted ground-up innovation and new capabilities across the force.

Leading Aircraftman Rhys Mitting, 3SECFOR UAS operator provided advice to other airmen who have ideas that can improve Air Force.

Be proactive, network with other units and you will find likeminded people who are willing to help.

Rhys Mitting
Leading Aircraftman

Article Image Source: Aero Mag