Collins Aerospace completes Air Launched Effects demonstration for U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift program


Collins Aerospace has successfully demonstrated a ready-now Mission Systems solution to support the operations of Air Launched Effects (ALE) from Army Aviation’s Enduring and Future Vertical Lift (FVL) fleet. Comprised of an air vehicle, multiple payloads, and a Mission System, these ALE are a crucial piece of the FVL aircraft’s ability to extend the organic reach, lethality, and survivability of manned platforms with Operator-on-the-Loop autonomy.

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Collins Aerospace completes Air Launched Effects demonstration for U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift program 01

Air Launched Effects (ALE) are a Family of Systems (FoS) consisting of an air vehicle, payload(s), mission system applications, and associated support equipment designed to autonomously or semi-autonomously deliver effects as a single agent or as a member of a team ALE is a crucial piece of the Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft Ecosystem advanced team concept synergistically enhancing survivability, threat identification, targeting, and lethality of Army aviation brigades and ground force commanders’ assets (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)


The RapidEdge Mission System demonstrated by Collins acts as the brain of the system and includes radios for communication, solutions for handling multiple levels of classified data, mission computing, and autonomous behaviors for ALE.

During the demonstration, Collins’ hardware located in a lab in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was connected to hardware located at the company’s new Customer Experience Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The RapidEdge Mission System successfully executed tactically relevant ALE behaviors while communicating via a cross-domain multi-level security solution. The company’s Mission System enables multiple ALEs to act as a cooperative team with complementary capabilities while simultaneously reducing pilot workload. Additionally, the open system architecture allows multiple payloads and datalinks to be seamlessly integrated.


Collins Aerospace completes Air Launched Effects demonstration for U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift program 02

RapidEdge Mission System combines small form factor mission computers and datalinks to enable proactive autonomy (Picture source: Collins Aerospace)


“We designed our RapidEdge Mission System solution for this market with a robust and resilient open systems approach at a high technological and manufacturing readiness level,” said Heather Robertson, vice president and general manager, Integrated Solutions for Collins Aerospace. “The offering is primed to meet the Army’s aggressive program schedule while delivering a critical capability to the warfighter.”

Further evidence of this high readiness level was demonstrated by the recent live flight of the Collins Mission System solution while physically integrated into the Altius-700 air vehicle from Area-I, underscoring the ability to deliver a solution in line with the Army’s FVL schedule.



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