The European aircraft concern Airbus has carried out demonstration tests of communication systems for unmanned Remote slave Carrier, the development of which is in the interests of Germany, France and Spain. As writes Jane’s, tests held during the teaching of the German air force Timber Express, held in the North and over the North sea.
Unmanned slave will have to operate in tandem with manned fighters. It is assumed that pilots in combat aircraft will be able to control these drones at the level of transmission of the flight tasks that the device will perform in the automatic mode.
The prototype communications system with unmanned wingmen was named CANDL (Compact Airborne Networking Data Link, compact aviation network communication system). During testing this system was connected with the fighters Eurofighter Typhoon and Panavia Tornado through a standard Link 16, standard for aircraft of NATO countries.
During inspections of the system CANDL were visible to all participants connected to the network Link 16. In addition, the fighters successfully passed the system CANDL commands to an unmanned slave. Other details about the completed audits have not been disclosed.
The development of unmanned wingmen is part of a larger project, FCAS, implying the creation of a family of aircraft. In addition to the drones it will include the sixth generation fighters. The first flight of the new fighter is planned for 2026.