Airbus has successfully concluded a flight test campaign featuring a new capability for the C295 FITS mission system (COMMOMISS) which enables it to be remotely operated by ground-based crews.
The campaign, carried out in April over the south of Spain, covered four flights and involved the use of an Airbus C295 Intelligence Surveillance Recognition (ISR) testbed equipped with a Collins avionics package.
The aircraft performed standard maritime patrol missions with all sensors controlled in near real time by a mission operator based at a ground station at Airbus’ Getafe site. Sensor control was successfully handed over to the ground control station, with different surveillance tasks, including Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) pointing control and radar management, performed by the ground crew using the installed Ka band SATCOM.
During the tests, the ground operator’s situational awareness was complete, sharing the same set of tools and apps available in the onboard Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) workstations, transforming the COMMOMISS ground station into an effective additional operator’s node.
Among its capabilities COMMOMISS will provide users with:
Additional operator’s nodes in the Mission Support Centre on the ground, providing operational flexibility in long and complex missions, sharing tasks between airborne and ground tactical crew members;
Integration with the operator’s C2 network, contributing to the generation of the Common Operational Picture;
Immediate access to all data gathered by onboard sensors for real time analysis with almost unlimited resources available on the ground;
The possibility to reduce the number of operators (and thus workstations) on board in persistent surveillance missions.
COMMOMISS will pave the future of airborne tactical mission systems, allowing a harmonised mission system architecture, human-machine interface (HMI) and concept of operations (CONOPS) for both, manned and unmanned air vehicles, as well as fixed-wing and rotatory wing aircraft. It supports a seamless integration into the overall system-of-systems, providing global situational awareness to operators and contributing to the generation of the Common Operational Picture (COP) in the context of ISR missions.
The hardware required to implement this new capability is available for new customers interested in the C295 ISR, which means that the capacities of the COMMOMISS could be available for any customer from now on, either as a catalogue option or as a growth potential.