J-UCAS receives first release of common operating software

The Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems program received the first release of its common operating system software earlier this month.

The COS is being developed by Boeing Co., Northrop Grumman Corp. and John Hopkins University's Applied Research Laboratory. There are three build deliveries for the software, which keeps the J-UCAS program on schedule for its interoperability software demonstration later this year.

J-UCAS is a joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force and Navy program that examines the feasibility of using networked high-performance, armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for combat. In August, DARPA awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing a five-year, $1 billion contract to build the UAVs.

The contractors are responsible for designing, developing and demonstrating a minimum of three aircraft and three mission control systems under the contract. The systems will include integrated sensing, communication and navigation equipment, as well as a common operating system, according to a DARPA release.

Flight demonstrations of the X-47B UAV will begin in 2007.

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