Jet fighter pilots could command a whole swarm of planes from the air, using a system developed by a British aerospace company.
QinetiQ – formerly the UK government’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency – has developed technology that would allow a pilot to control up to five aircraft during a mission, without needing to constantly keep a check on them.
So far, the system has been demonstrated as part of a new simulator developed by QinetiQ, modelled on the Eurofighter. The system allows a pilot to program a group of up to five unmanned planes to perform a simple task, like searching an area for enemy vehicles.
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) under the pilot’s control use software “agents” to carry out their mission. These agents are given a goal – to find enemy targets, for example – and can independently deal with the various variables involved.