Airbus Defence & Space will unveil a full-scale model of a conceptual ‘Wingman’ asset at the ILA Berlin air show on 5 June.

Likening its design to a concept car at a motor show, the European company says: “The Wingman model showcases all of the foreseen capabilities required, such as low observability, the integration of various armaments, advanced sensors, connectivity and teaming solutions.

Wingman concept

Source: Airbus Defence & Space

Likened to a concept car, Airbus Defence & Space’s Wingman will be on display at the ILA Berlin air show

“The model on display at ILA Berlin will serve as a foundation and catalyst to drive the design requirements for each generation of the Wingman,” it adds, while noting: “as with show cars, not all of what is on display may find its way into series production.”

“The German air force has expressed a clear need for an unmanned aircraft flying with and supporting missions of its manned fighter jets before the Future Combat Air System [FCAS] will be operational in 2040,” says Airbus Defence & Space chief executive Michael Schoellhorn.

To operate in conjunction with assets like the Eurofighter and Germany’s future Lockheed Martin F-35As, such unmanned platforms could conduct roles including reconnaissance, jamming and potentially air-to-surface strikes.

“We will further drive and fine-tune this innovation made in Germany so that ultimately we can offer the German air force an affordable solution with the performance it needs to maximise the effects and multiply the power of its fighter fleet for the 2030s,” Schoellhorn says.

Berlin is a partner on the European FCAS project with France and Spain, with Dassault Aviation leading work on a so-called sixth-generation fighter.