Oct 20, 2023
Drone manufacturer Insitu Pacific (IPL) and aeronautical manufacturer Innovaero are to collaborate in the development of a long-range strike capability using uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS).
Insitu is a subsidiary of Boeing which is also building the its MQ-28A Ghost Bat autonomous jet aircraft, formerly known as Loyal Wingman, while Innovaero is an Australian company based in Perth.
The two companies will ‘coordinate’ IPL’s Integrator (pictured) which provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and Innovaero’s One-Way Loitering (OWL) munition which can strike a long-range target after circling overhead.
The managing director Insitu Pacific Andrew Duggan said: “This unified approach would combine uncrewed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and long-range strike capabilities to rapidly deliver direct effects in the engagement zone without the need for crews in larger air assets being put at risk.
“The concept is designed to achieve seamless integration with current Australian Defence Force systems, including the Integrator, and offers great potential to become an integral strike asset.”
Together, the companies will develop, test and field the collaborative system using Insitu Pacific’s common ground control station (GCS) and INEXA software to control both UAS and long-range OWLs.
Operators would command both assets through the common GCS.
Innovaero Group CEO Simon Grosser said: “The versatility of the proposed combined ISR and strike solution provides a significantly shorter ‘sensor to shooter’ loop to engage emerging threats.
“Our collaboration with Insitu Pacific builds on our work with defence in Australia to develop an Australian loitering munitions capability, and offers an integrated solution for long range UAS target detection and effective engagement.”
Development and testing for the Integrator/OWL system will continue through 2023.
The announcement builds on a Memorandum of Agreement established between Insitu Pacific and Innovaero in July 2021.