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BAE, QinetiQ Ink Joint Unmanned Aerial Systems Agreement for Military Users

BAE Systems has signed a framework agreement with QinetiQ to explore the development of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and mission management systems for military customers.

Under the partnership, the companies will focus on solutions supporting interoperability with existing and future manned and unmanned systems to sustain aerial combat dominance and strategic outcomes.

The resulting capabilities will enable users to deploy joint manned and unmanned assets managed by human decision-makers.

The framework agreement’s initial phase will research the utility of BAE’s proprietary autonomous mission management system for both firms’ unmanned platforms.

This stage will also explore the management system’s effectiveness with manned and unmanned combat aircraft that are still under development or already operational.

“The UK and other nations want to field high performance uncrewed air systems capable of delivering military effects across a range of operational scenarios,” BAE Advanced Research and Technology Managing Director Dave Holmes stated.

“Our agreement with QinetiQ will see us work together to deliver this capability to our customers.”

Addressing Growing Needs

QinetiQ Robotics & Autonomous Systems Global Campaign Director Mick Andrae added that the effort will address the global customer’s increasing demand “to increase combat mass, protect lives and reduce costs.”

“Our collaboration with BAE Systems enables future mission-critical operations to be conducted without the traditional costs associated,” he said.

“All of this will provide our customers with better intelligence, protection and capability to defend against adversaries and protect our national interests.”

BAE Systems' UAS Concept 1.
BAE Systems’ UAS Concept 1. Photo: BAE Systems

Throughout the partnership, BAE and QinetiQ will continue to develop their own UAS solutions per the framework agreement’s common product strategy, maintaining effective teaming over the project’s associated concept developments.

The companies will also work with relevant regulatory bodies to advance appropriate processes supporting the autonomous systems produced by the partnership.

BAE and QinetiQ are presenting related concepts at the Defence & Security Equipment International in London until September 15.

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