Semi-Autonomous Warfare Concepts
Raytheon has shed more light on its interpretation of the contemporary and future operating environments, explaining to MONS how its Semi-Autonomous Warfare (SAW) Directorate continues to explore a series of options across the battlespace.
According to company officials, the SAW Directorate falls under the operational control of Raytheon’s Advanced Missiles Systems Division, with a remit to explore next-generation technologies including unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), as well as additional capabilities for missiles and munitions.
Examples include the ongoing development of the COYOTE UAS, which Raytheon is developing as a swarm capability in order to find, fix, and neutralise targets. Company sources explained how field trials at Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ/USA, conducted over the past year had proven the concept of up to 30 COYOTE foldable wing aircraft flying in a swarm configuration.
This particular concept, Raytheon added, could see a first wave of COYOTE aircraft forward deployed to identify and track multiple enemy targets, while a second wave could be sent shortly afterwards to laser designate targets for a third and final wave to prosecute.
Elsewhere, Raytheon explained to MONS additional SAW concepts including the development of UGV technology capable of executing method of entry (including explosive) drills on the battlefield at the tactical edge, thereby allowing assault forces to stand off from target buildings during a breach. UGVs could be connected to ground teams equipped with end user devices including smartphones or heads up displays.
Such a concept is being designed to minimise fatalities and casualties on the battlefield associated with assault teams stacking up outside buildings and compounds before entering confined and congested spaces where risk of injury and casualties remains severe.
Finally, the SAW Directorate is working closely with the Advanced Missile Systems Division to formulate a suite of additional capabilities for ballistic missiles and other munitions ahead of the prosecution of a target. Raytheon explained to MONS how medium to long range missiles could be equipped with Electronic Warfare (EW) technologies to conduct a range of mission sets across the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) before detonating on target.