Bell Helicopter, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems partner on Manned Unmanned Operations Capability Development Laboratory

FORT WORTH, Texas, 4 April 2012. Bell Helicopter and Textron Systems operating unit AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, both Textron Inc. companies (NYSE:TXT), are jointly developing a Manned Unmanned Operations (MUMO) Capability Development Laboratory in Huntsville, Ala. The MUMO Capability Development Laboratory will serve as a research and development tool to support the U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) vision and roadmap objectives for manned unmanned UAS operations.

Construction is currently underway on the facility, which is scheduled to open later this year.

The new lab is intended to enable “a software and hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) development test capability using relevant systems specific to manned unmanned teaming,” says a spokesperson. "This capability will allow Bell Helicopter and AAI to maintain and expand our concurrence with Army developmental laboratories and fielded aviation assets," says Mike Miller, director of Military Business Development, Bell Helicopter.

The new Bell Helicopter MUMO Capability Development Laboratory will be operationally connected to the Shadow Tactical UAS HWIL system integration lab (SIL), which is being expanded to house a Kiowa Warrior OH-58D baseline simulation facility.

The combined MUMO laboratory will enable accelerated technology insertion to ensure aviation forces are equipped and trained with the most current capabilities and advantages, says a representative. The Bell Helicopter and AAI MUMO laboratory will enable a high-fidelity, interoperable MUMO simulation environment to support individual operator requirements for UAS and rotorcraft mission crew requirements. The companies will coordinate exploratory concepts and technology demonstrations to develop and incorporate emerging technologies for the UAS and rotorcraft aviation fleet.

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