US Air Force, EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.: Joint-unmanned-combat-air-systems test team officials here successfully demonstrated a transfer of command and control using line-of-sight capabilities on two unmanned X-45A aircraft Jan. 27.
The test followed the successful Dec. 9 sortie that transferred control of the aircraft to a control station nearly 900 miles away and back again.
The line-of-sight flight test is a major milestone in Block 3 software testing geared more toward tactically demonstrating the unmanned aerial vehicle's distributed command and control capabilities, officials said.
“This demonstration is asking the airplanes to be more tactical,” said Sam Kim, test conductor. “Once the planes have been handed off from the primary pilot, the pilot in the area of responsibility or threat area, will manage both aircraft and direct one of them to capture radar images.”
After maneuvering to capture the images, the pilot in the area of responsibility will transfer command and control of the aircraft back to the primary pilot, Mr. Kim said.
Although the pilot in-theater was located only 100 feet away from the primary ground station at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration