Boeing will develop and demonstrate unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies for the US Air Force Research Laboratory (USAFRL) under a new contract.

The technology will enable multiple small UAVs to coordinate with each other and a manned airborne control station to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The UAVs are being developed under Boeing’s Foxhunt multi-small unmanned aerial system cooperative control demonstration programme.

Boeing Research & Technology’s Patrick Stokes said the focus of the Foxhunt programme was the airborne control of a varied mix of drones.

“It’s part of a grander vision outlined by the USAFRL to include the air launch, command-and-control and airborne recovery of unmanned aerial systems all from an airborne mothership,” he said.

The unmanned systems will be an extension of the manned mothership’s sensor and weapon suites.