Airbus Partners with Helsing to Develop AI Technologies for Unmanned Wingman System

Framework Cooperation Agreement Signed at ILA Aerospace Trade Show in Berlin
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 03:16 PM, June 5, 2024
  • 1845
Airbus Partners with Helsing to Develop AI Technologies for Unmanned Wingman System
Airbus Partners with Helsing to Develop AI Technologies for Unmanned Wingman System

Airbus Defence and Space and Helsing, Europe’s defence AI and software company, have signed an agreement at the ongoing ILA Berlin exhibition, focusing on advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for the development of a future Wingman system.

This system, an unmanned fighter-type aircraft, is poised to integrate with existing combat jets and receive directives from a pilot stationed in a command aircraft, such as the Eurofighter.

Marking its debut at the ILA, Airbus also unveiled its Wingman concept, crafted in response to German Air Force’s demands. The Wingman initiative aims to bolster the capabilities of manned combat aircraft by incorporating unmanned platforms capable of carrying weapons and other mission-critical components.

"The current conflicts on Europe's borders show how important air superiority is," said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO at Airbus Defence and Space. "Manned-Unmanned Teaming will play a central role in achieving air superiority: With an unmanned Wingman at their side, fighter pilots can operate outside the danger zone. They give the orders and always have the decision-making authority. Supported by AI, the wingman then takes over the dangerous tasks, including target reconnaissance and destruction or electronic jamming and deception of enemy air defense systems."

Airbus Partners with Helsing to Develop AI Technologies for Unmanned Wingman System
Airbus Wingman at ILA Berlin-2024

Gundbert Scherf, Co-CEO at Helsing, echoed the sentiment, stressing the imperative of AI integration in unmanned missions, particularly in high-risk scenarios. Scherf highlighted the necessity of AI in processing sensor data, optimizing subsystems, and orchestrating system-level operations within the Wingman framework for the German Air Force.

Under the terms of the AI agreement, Airbus will leverage its expertise in Manned-Unmanned Teaming, garnered through its role as prime contractor in major European defense programs like the Eurofighter and the A400M military transporter. Meanwhile, Helsing will contribute its AI stack, encompassing software-defined mission capabilities crucial for enhancing sensor fusion and deploying algorithms for electronic warfare.

Airbus Partners with Helsing to Develop AI Technologies for Unmanned Wingman System
Airbus Wingman at ILA Berlin-2024
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