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UK awards contracts for UAS swarm project

A UAS swarm comprising of Malloy Aeronautics TRV150 systems during a Royal Marines trial. (UK MOD Crown copyright 2021 - Barry Wheeler)

Malloy Aeronautics and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) group have been awarded a contract as part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Multi-Domain Integrated Swarm (MDIS) project, Brigadier Mark Totten, Deputy Director of Acquisition Commando Forces and MDIS told Janes on 27 July.

The project will involve a series of trials with SNC, integrating and teaming approximately 10–20 Malloy Aeronautics unmanned aerial systems (UAS), James Gavin, head of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Future Capability Group (FCG) told Janes.

As part of the project, the MDIS team are interested in understanding how the swarming systems exchange data and the bandwidth/information exchange rates that those behaviours require, Brig Totten said. He added that the project is expected to produce results within the current financial year.

Brig Totten was unable to provide further details surrounding the project, although he did note that the Malloy Aeronautics T400 UAS was used during the trials.

The MDIS programme, delivered by FCG on behalf of the Defence Innovation Unit, seeks to investigate the possibility of creating a standard digital architecture for multidomain integration across the autonomous systems environment. It is intended to stop each frontline command (FLC)from developing their own digital networks and systems, which communicate differently between services, to developing autonomous systems that communicate, share, and collaborate together across all domains and services, Brig Totten explained. The programme will involve a series of experimentations and demonstrations of multidomain integrated systems, which may include autonomous and swarming technologies, the MoD stated in a separate announcement.

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