French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly has officially launched the ‘Man-Machine-Teaming’ preliminary advanced study programme (PEA MMT), which seeks to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for combat aviation of the future.
The design plan for the study programme was awarded to Dassault Aviation and Thales by the French Government defence procurement and technology agency, the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA).
While Dassault Aviation has been awarded the role of the lead contractor for the air combat system, Thales has been selected to serve as the co-contractor to deliver the human / system interface and sensors.
The scope of the PEA MMT project includes a ‘cognitive air system’ concept, which is based on more autonomous functions onboard an aircraft, as well as on a man / machine relationship in which the human element is constantly maintained in the decision loop.
The programme will include several French start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), laboratories and research centres specialised in AI, robotics, and new man / machine interfaces, which will work in collaboration with Dassault and Thales to ensure the development of advanced algorithms.
In January this year, the new PEA MMT programme was notified to the companies by the French DGA and is slated to continue for a period of three years.
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The programme has been designed to focus on defining future cockpits and independent systems, improving new technologies in man / machine teaming within the cognitive air system, and enhancing concepts and technologies in the field of smart / learning sensors.