In a move to get beyond the current FAA restriction that allows unmanned aerial vehicles to operate in national air space but not in concert with manned aircraft, the Air Force wants to build an “experience base” from which the FAA would agree that UAVs provide an “equivalent level of safety” to a similar class of manned aircraft. The Air Force has issued a request for information to develop a modeling, simulation, and analysis environment to investigate and “derive initial capability requirements” for what the FAA terms the “see and avoid” rule applied to manned aircraft operating in the national airspace. Interested vendors have until Oct. 9 to respond.
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.