J-UCAS receives first release of common operating software

The Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems program has received the first release of its common operating system software being co-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 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.

Dawn S. Onley is a senior writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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