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Paris Air Show 2023: MBDA Orchestrike to take network-enabled weapons ‘to next level'


Janes was among the first outlets to be given a demonstration of the Orchestrike concept at the Paris Air Show 2023 on 19 June. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

MBDA has showcased its new Orchestrike concept for collaborative combat effectors, which the European missile house said will be far more capable than any network-enabled systems in use today.

Paul Houot, product line executive for tactical strike, said at the Paris Air Show 2023 on 19 June that the concept will see remote carrier (RC) kinetic and/or electronic warfare (EW) effectors co-ordinate and collaborate in a way not previously possible.

“This will be the next level of network-enabled weapons,” he said, noting that while today's network-enabled weapons focused on retargeting and knowing the status of the weapon, Orchestrike uses connectivity, software architecture, algorithms, and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable RCs and other effectors and their launch aircraft to communicate in real time throughout the strike mission.

“We use AI with deep reinforcement learning, but we always have the human-in-the-loop. There is a datalink from the [strike] package to the pilot – connectivity is the key,” Houot said, adding that the ‘intelligence' is on the weapon itself rather than the aircraft.

“Collaborative effectors are missile systems capable of sharing information about the battlespace as they approach targets, co-ordinating their actions to overmatch adversaries. Collaboration between each element of a pack of effectors delivering surface attack is key to overcoming enemy air defences, enhancing survivability of effectors and increasing efficiency on targets. Packs of collaborative effectors acting as one will constitute an essential part of the ‘Common Armament Layer' of future combat air systems,” MBDA said.

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