in Defence

BAE Systems to upgrade VMSC for US Navy's MQ-25

Posted 13 February 2024

BAE Systems has been selected by Boeing to upgrade and modernise the vehicle management system computer (VMSC) for the US Navy's MQ-25 unmanned aerial refuelling system.

Above: The US Navy’s MQ-25 unmanned aerial refuelling system.
Courtesy BAE Systems

BAE Systems has been selected by Boeing to upgrade and modernise the vehicle management system computer (VMSC) for the US Navy's MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling system.

The technology refresh will increase computing power and address obsolescence issues, providing the unmanned aerial tanker with an integrated solution that improves aircraft performance and allows for future capability growth.

BAE Systems' next-generation VMSC controls all flight surfaces and performs overall vehicle management duties for the autonomous MQ-25. The MQ-25 is the Navy's first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft and is designed to provide a much-needed aerial refuelling capability. It also aims to relieve the refuelling mission workload for F/A-18 aircraft, allowing them to take on other key mission roles, increasing the fleet's capacity.

"BAE Systems is a leader in flight-critical systems and solutions," said Corin Beck, senior director of Military Aircraft Systems for Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems. "Our upgraded VMSC for the MQ-25 will deliver advanced functionality—enabling this platform to execute today and tomorrow's critical missions, while also reducing the amount of hardware required on the aircraft through consolidation into this computer."

The cost-effective VMSC upgrade will use quad-core processors to increase computing power while optimising size, weight and power footprint on the aircraft. The multicore processor selected for the MQ-25 VMSC has recently completed qualification on another US military platform thereby reducing cost, schedule, and integration risk for this programme.

This highly efficient and integrated system will deliver more capability by replacing multiple other onboard computers, improving aircraft reliability and reducing total lifecycle cost of ownership for the Navy. The new VMSC also provides growth capability to support future missions of the MQ-25, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) technologies and lays the foundation for all future carrier-based unmanned systems by pioneering the cutting-edge manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) operational concept.

BAE Systems also provides the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) System for the aircraft.




Other Stories
Latest News

Airbus and LCI to develop AAM ecosystems

Airbus and LCI have announced a collaboration agreement to jointly develop ecosystems for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).

Bristow signs AW189 Framework Agreement with Leonardo

Leonardo and Bristow Group have announced a new framework agreement, including firm orders for 10 AW189 super medium helicopters plus 10 options.

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps visits RAF Valley

The UK's Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps visited RAF Valley recently to see the results of £775 million invested in state-of-the-art equipment to train the next generation of pilots.

Ascent continues UK military aircrew training upgrade

Ascent Flight Training and Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated two advanced prototype Texan Virtual Reality Trainers – part of a range of simulators joining the training programme at RAF Valley.

Leonardo and Sloane enhance partnership in UK and Ireland

Leonardo and Sloane have announced a major reinforcement of their collaboration in the UK and Ireland commercial helicopter market at Heli-Expo 2024, with the signing of Preliminary Sales Contracts for nine AW09 next-generation

IATA releases 2023 Safety Report

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its 2023 Annual Safety Report for global aviation, highlighting the continued progress made on aviation safety, with several 2023 parameters showing

ODU SK0104300422
See us at
DVD BTSpace Comm Expo BT