Air Force advances airborne control of drones

Foxhunt demo will test control network for small UAVs

The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded Boeing Co. a three-year, $9.8 million contract to further develop and demonstrate technologies for the airborne launch and recovery of unmanned aerial vehicles, Boeing officials said June 10.

The Foxhunt Multi-Small Unmanned Aerial System Cooperative Control Demonstration will enable multiple small UAVs to coordinate with each other under the direction of an airborne control station, the officials said.

Foxhunt is part of the Air Force's quest for a networked system that would address the air launch, command and control, and recovery of unmanned aerial systems from an airborne mothership, the officials said. In the system envisioned, the UAVs would serve as an extension of the mothership’s sensor and weapon suites.

The approach would extend the range for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities and also allow for safer stand-off distances for controllers, the officials said.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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