The Project Offices for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Apache Attack Helicopter and Armed Scout Helicopter conducted an exercise showcasing advancements made in aircraft interoperability, referred to as the Manned Unmanned System Integration Capability, or MUSIC, Exercise at Michael Army Airfield, Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, today.
The MUSIC exercise is the largest hybrid aviation exercise ever attempted, and will help shape the future of full-spectrum Combat Aviation Brigades and the Army.
The advances in the interoperability of these systems give Soldiers an advantage in the battlefield, by providing them with a lethal weapon that offers better communication, quicker sharing of data and more effective collaboration.
“MUSIC is intended to be a showcase for innovation, integration, and ultimately interoperability,” said Tim Owings, Deputy Project Manager of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for the Army.
The seven featured aircraft included the AH-64D Apache Longbow Block II, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS, RQ-7B Shadow UAS, RQ-11B Raven small UAS, Puma All Environment Capable Variant and the MQ-5B Hunter UAS, which all have the capability to shoot and stream live video. These aircraft also possess the ability to exchange and use the information as needed, whether it is to conduct surveillance or reconnaissance of a given area.
Combat Aviation Brigades will have the ability to control several different unmanned aircraft through a single Universal Ground Control Station, or UGS, in a rapid manner. The common hardware and software provided by UGS supports interoperability across each of the aviation platforms.
A single operator is then able to take control of a given payload, or sensor, on the aviation platform by using the One System Remote Video Terminal. The operator can steer the aircraft’s payload in any direction to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance of an area. The OSRVT is then able to receive video not only from the Gray Eagle, Shadow, and Hunter, but also from other small unmanned aircraft such as the Puma and Raven, along with manned platforms Apache and Kiowa.
Not only is MUSIC helping shape the future of CAB units and the Army but its creating connections across joint boundaries to include the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, said Maj. Gen. William T. Crosby, the Program Executive Office, Aviation.
MUSIC will hold similar exercises every two years to demonstrate its continued technological advances.