Cassidian is likely to conduct a fourth campaign of flight testing with its Barracuda unmanned air vehicle technology demonstrator from around 2014, with the process to further develop its ability to operate the autonomous system in conjunction with other aircraft.
"We are presently in discussions to come up with developments in the timeframe of the next two or three years," says Thomas Gottmann, Cassidian's senior manager for the Barracuda/Agile UAV effort. "We would be looking to have more complex missions, with more aircraft in the air."
Conducted from Goose Bay in Canada earlier this year, the most recent test activity involved flying the roughly 3t Barracuda in collaboration with a manned Learjet, which was acting as a surrogate UAV for the "sensor-to-shooter" work.
Missions included live re-tasking of the demonstrator to track moving targets detected using a Cassidian-developed synthetic aperture radar payload carried by the modified jet.
Gottmann says the company's emphasis will remain on demonstrating an entire "system of systems" during future trials, with the technology involved to support the development of a European UAV or, potentially, a future combat air system.