Airbus demonstrates ground-based operation of C295 FITS mission system

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Unmarked C-295W FIST EC-001 (c/n S-163) at Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain, on April 7. Although unconfirmed, this is believed to be the aircraft used for the new COMMOMISS capability trials, as it was the only C-295 FIST aircraft fitted with the Ka-Band antenna dome
Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta

Airbus has successfully concluded a flight test campaign featuring a new capability for the C295 FITS mission system (COMMOMISS) which enables it to be remotely operated by ground-based crews. The company announced on May 4 that the campaign, carried out in April over the south of Spain, covered four flights and involved the use of an Airbus C295 intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) testbed equipped with a Collins avionics package. The aircraft performed standard maritime patrol missions with all sensors controlled in near real time by a mission operator based at a ground station at Airbus’ Getafe site.

Sensor control was successfully handed over to the station, with different surveillance tasks, including electrooptical/infra-red (EO/IR) pointing control and radar management, performed by the ground crew using the installed Ka band SATCOM. During the tests, the ground operator’s situational awareness was complete, sharing the same set of tools and apps available in the onboard Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) workstations, transforming the COMMOMISS ground station into an effective additional operator’s node.

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