Textron, Bell and AAI launch collaboration in manned/unmanned teaming

Textron Systems and Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., have opened the Textron Systems Integration and Collaboration Lab, as well as the Bell Helicopter/AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Manned/Unmanned Operations (MUMO) Capability Development Lab. Based at Textron Systems' Huntsville, Ala., location, these labs combine live data feeds, high-fidelity simulated environments and field equipment to enable rapid system integration and testing, and the demonstration and proof of operational concepts.

"Our U.S. Department of Defense customers are facing a period of profound change," said Textron Systems president and CEO Ellen Lord, in a statement. "Now more than ever, they need affordable technologies that can be deployed rapidly against their most pressing requirements. These new lab capabilities enable our customers to achieve this while reducing program risk."

The Textron Systems Integration and Collaboration Lab incorporates AAI’s unmanned platforms, command and control solutions, and training and simulation equipment, along with technologies for real-time collaboration and tasking. Paired with live data feeds, the lab lets customers integrate and troubleshoot new components and assets.

Similarly, the Bell Helicopter/AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems MUMO Capability Development Lab advances customer development of tactics, techniques and procedures. A high-fidelity Kiowa Warrior helicopter simulator linked with unmanned assets, feeds and simulations supports the development of cognitive skills for MUMO.

"We are not only exploring next-generation concepts for situational awareness, we are rapidly developing both the solutions and cutting-edge technologies that bring them to life," said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter, in a statement.

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