Airbus has demonstrated the ground control capability of its C295 airborne Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) mission system.
The new capability was shown during a flight test campaign carried out last month over the south of Spain.
The testing programme included four flights and involved the use of an Airbus C295 Intelligence Surveillance Recognition (ISR) testbed equipped with a Collins avionics package.
Airbus has designated the remote-controlled C295 FITS system as ‘COMMOMISS’.
During the flights, the aircraft conducted standard maritime patrol missions. A mission operator based at a ground station at Airbus’ Getafe site controlled all sensors in near real-time.
The ground control station was able to take over various surveillance responsibilities, including electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) pointing control and radar management, leveraging the installed Ka-band satellite communications (SATCOM).
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The demonstration proved that the ground operator’s situational awareness was complete, ‘sharing the same suite of tools and applications available in the on-board FITS workstations’.
According to the company, COMMOMISS will provide many benefits to users.
It will allow a greater number of operator’s nodes in the ground mission support, integration with the user’s command and control (C2) network and help create a common operational picture.
The COMMOMISS will also allow real-time analysis of all the data collected by the aircraft’s sensors, using the ‘unlimited resources available on the ground’. It also includes the option of reducing the number of workstations and operators on the aircraft.
The C295 is a tactical airlifter in the light and medium segment that can conduct multi-role operations in all-weather conditions.
It has a short take-off and landing (STOL) capacity, and with its FITS capability, the aircraft enhances mission awareness and operational efficiency.
The aircraft has a range of 2,000nm with a payload capacity of 6t.
In January last year, the Airbus C295 tactical airlifter carried out its first air-to-air (AAR) tanker wet contacts during a flight test campaign.