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US Army developing MUM-TX for Apache control of all UAVs

日期: 2016-05-06
浏览次数: 265

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The US Army is to increase the scope of the manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capabilities of its Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopter to include all unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fielded by the US military, a senior service official said on 7 June.

Speaking at the Apache production facility in Mesa, Arizona, US Army programme manager Colonel Jeffrey Hager said that a new MUM-TX capability is being developed to expand the set of UAVs that the crew of the attack helicopter is able to control from the current General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle and Textron Shadow Version 2 (V2) platforms to every UAV in service with the army, US Air Force (USAF), US Navy (USN), and US Marine Corps (USMC).

"We are now working on MUM-TX to allow the E [model Apache] to talk to any [unmanned] system on the battlefield. Currently, only the Gray Eagle and Shadow V2 platforms fitted with the Tactical Common Data Link [TCDL] can do this," Col Hager said, adding that MUM-TX will roll out this same Level 4 UAV control from a helicopter to any unmanned aircraft equipped with C, L, and S Band datalinks. The colonel expects MUM-TX to be ready for fielding in late fiscal year 2018.

As noted by Col Hager, the MUM-TX will enhance the MUM-T capability that has so far proven to be extremely beneficial to operations. "MUM-T is becoming exactly like what we envisioned," he said, adding: "The Apache can sit in a [Forward Arming and Refuelling Position] FARP and fly the Gray Eagle 50-60 km downrange to give 'eyes-on' ahead of time, so the pilots have already seen the target when they roll in on combat operations. There are no surprises."

The MUM-TX enhancement will be rolled out at about the same time as the Version 6 improvement for the AH-64E that is scheduled for about the 2019 timeframe.

 

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