Airmen going into critical operations in extreme locations will definitely consider it a boon if they can seamlessly communicate with unmanned aerial vehicles working along their sides. This is now a reality. The technology called ‘Manned-Unmanned Teaming’ or simply ‘MUM-T’ is now the centre of focus in the defence equipment development arena. When a pilot has enhanced control over the unmanned vehicles on his team, he gets access to a wide range of operability. Airbus has tested the MUM-T capability on an H145.

Airbus MUM-T
Airbus’s H145 and Shiebel’s drone demonstrating the MUM-T technology

What is MUM-T?

MUM-T capability enhances the efficiency of both the manned system as well as the unmanned system. Several unmanned vehicles can be harmoniously interfaced to a single manned vehicle. These drones can help the pilot get improvised situational awareness. A single human cannot have observational capabilities that will give him an idea about the entire zone in which he is flying. He needs the help of several high-end equipments for observation. Moreover, the pilot may have multiple, enhanced equipment in his own aircraft. But it is still devoid of the capability of observing the areas that are beyond the observational range of the equipment in his vehicle. This is one area where the MUM-T technology proves to be revolutionary.

Airbus MUM-T
A wide range of control can be executed over the unmanned drone by the pilot from his aircraft

What is the use of MUM-T technology?

By controlling several drones from the air, the pilots can gain access to a vast area spread across the flying zone. He can send the drones to carry out several operations on his command. This will be the future of combat aircrafts. It will be highly useful not just on the battlefield, but also in other important missions, especially search and rescue operations.

Demonstration of the MUM-T technology

This technology is being tested in various parts of the world. Airbus partnered with Austrian UAS manufacturer Schiebel to implement this technology on its H145 copter, in April 2018. The test flight was successful. The helicopter’s operator was able to control and pilot the drone, while the drone’s control was also handed temporarily to the ground station. With this test flight, Airbus became the first European operator to demonstrate the MUM-T technology with the highest level of interoperability.

MUM-T Drone

This technology is all set on its way to become the most ground-breaking teaming scenario of the future.