Golden
BAE Systems

BAE Systems

British multinational defence, security and aerospace company

Products

MAGMA

In December 2017, BAE Systems in conjunction with The University of Manchester held their first phase of flight trials for their experimental unmanned MAGMA aircraft. The MAGMA aircraft is an unmanned combat aerial vehicle that uses a unique blown-air systems to steer the airplane while flying instead of traditional mechanical moving controls or fins. 



Two technologies unique to the MAGMA aircraft are wing circulation control and fluidic thrust vectoring. Both technologies take advantage of air flow resulting from the aircrafts engine and blown air. Wing circulation control takes air being blown from the engine and blows it over the trailing edge of the wing providing stability to the aircraft while in flight. Fluidic thrust vectoring uses blown air to deflect the aircrafts exhaust which allows the aircraft to change direction. 







Timeline

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Lana Spencer, PG, CHMM, QISP

Advisor



Neil Harmsworth

Advisor



Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

BAE ignites unmanned interest with Magma

Craig Hoyle

Web



First MAGMA flight trials | BAE Systems | International

Andrea Kay

Web



Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

MAGMA : BAE Systems' tech to change future of aircraft design

December 15, 2017

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services









News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Sarah Young
February 20, 2020
U.S.
Britain's BAE Systems forecast another year of growth in 2020, saying the company was well-placed to take advantage of increased defence spending that could help to offset any future impact from a German ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
Reuters Editorial
February 20, 2020
U.S.
The chief executive of BAE Systems is optimistic about the future of the Typhoon fighter jet, saying that more orders were possible.
Sky
February 17, 2020
Sky News
The PHASA-35 has been designed and launched within two years and could detect forest fires and be used for maritime surveillance.
Mike Wright
November 6, 2019
The Telegraph
Peregrine falcon-style attack drones are due to be funded by the Government in a bid to avoid airport shutdowns.
October 9, 2019
WebWire
BAE Systems has been awarded a $148.3 million contract by the U.S. Army to upgrade 43 M88A1 heavy-lift vehicles for added capability to evacuate damaged or stranded combat vehicles from the battlefield. This continues the upgrade of the M88A1 to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift System (HERCULES) configuration to increase power, maneuverability and survivability to reach the Army's acquisition objective of 933 M88A2 vehicles. "The HERCULES is an invaluable vehicle f...
Rebecca Carhart and Lulu Chang
October 8, 2019
Business Insider
Thermal gloves keep your hands extra warm during the winter. These are the best gloves you can buy to avoid frozen fingers.
BBC News
September 12, 2019
BBC News
Boris Johnson says the £1.25bn order for five Type 31e frigates will safeguard 2,500 jobs.
August 22, 2019
WebWire
BAE Systems, a global leader in electronic warfare, has received a Block 4 Modernization contract award from Lockheed Martin to enhance the offensive and defensive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Under the contract, BAE Systems will modernize its AN/ASQ-239 Electronic Warfare/Countermeasures (EW/CM) system to address emerging threats and maintain U.S. and allied warfighters' ability to safely conduct missions in contested...
June 3, 2019
WebWire
BAE Systems is a technology partner with robotic process automation (RPA) leader, UiPath, in developing suites of software robots that its customers can use to automate high-volume, repetitive business processes. RPAs fuel machine learning tools by feeding them high volumes of structured data necessary for it to begin learning and improving automatically, without being programmed," said Don DeSanto, director of strategic partnerships for the BAE Systems Intelligence & Security sector....
May 3, 2019
WebWire
In a series of ground-breaking flight trials that took place in the skies above north-west Wales, the MAGMA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrated two innovative flow control technologies which could revolutionise future aircraft design. MAGMA, designed and developed by researchers at The University of Manchester in collaboration with engineers from BAE Systems, successfully trialled the two 'flap-free' technologies earlier this month at the Llanbedr Airfield. The technologies have b...
BBC News
May 3, 2019
BBC News
The arts prize faced criticism for the deal with a company linked to an anti-gay rights campaigner.
Stonemont Financial Group
April 25, 2019
www.prnewswire.com:443
ATLANTA, April 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Stonemont Financial Group will fund the construction of an 83,000-square-foot build-to-suit industrial manufacturing...
Reuters Editorial
Invalid Date
U.S.
Britain's defense company BAE Systems on Tuesday said it had won additional funding up to $575 million from the U.S. Army to begin production of its new armored vehicles that would replace the Vietnam War-era M113 fleet of personnel carriers.
February 6, 2019
WebWire
BAE Systems, the third-largest defense contractor in the world, is expanding operations into Manchester, New Hampshire - the latest in a series of strategic investments in its facilities and workforce to prepare for continuing and projected business growth. The company has signed a new lease for an approximately 200,000-square-foot campus located at 3000 Goffs Falls Road that will allow for significant expansion in the Granite State. The new space will add to the company's large New Hamps...
December 20, 2018
WebWire
The completion of this phase of her upkeep has been marked with the launch of the inaugural BAE Systems and Royal Navy association programme, which aims to forge close links between the ship, the ship's company and BAE Systems employees responsible for her upkeep and working across the Maritime Services business. BAE Systems' Warship Support Director, Jon Pearson, said: "HMS Chiddingfold moving out of the ship hall is another great delivery milestone, but the work certainly doesn't end he...
July 5, 2018
The Economist
JULY 16th sees the opening of the Farnborough air show. Plane spotters attending the show, which by entente cordiale alternates annually with that in Paris, will be hoping for an appearance by one of the F-35 Lightning fighters delivered recently to Britain's air force and navy. The F-35 represents the best that the present has to offer in aerial military technology. The minds of visitors from the aerospace industry and the armed forces, though, will mostly be on the future--and in particular what sort of aircraft will follow the F-35. All around the show will be drones of almost every shape and size. This raises the question: will future combat aircraft need pilots?At least part of the answer can be found 400km north of Farnborough, near Preston, Lancashire. Warton Aerodrome is the site of Britain's nearest equivalent to Lockheed Martin's celebrated Skunk Works--a research and development facility run by BAE Systems, the country's largest aerospace and defence contractor. Inside a high-security building called 31 Hanger sits Taranis, an aircraft named after the Celtic god of thunder.Get our daily newsletterUpgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor's Picks.Latest storiesWhy does Britain's most famous TV game show lack female faces?3 hours agoBarry Adamson's 40 years of musical brillianceProspero5 hours agoA brand new passenger jet crashes in IndonesiaGulliver5 hours agoBlasphemy bans are struck out in Ireland and reinforced in AustriaErasmus6 hours agoJair Bolsonaro will be Brazil's next presidentAmericas8 hours agoPhilip Hammond prepares for a low-key budgetBritain11 hours agoSee moreTaranis looks like something out of "Star Wars". It is about the size of a small jet fighter, but is shaped like a flying wing. It is an unmanned, stealthy combat drone. Like most military drones it can be operated, via a secure data link, by a pilot sitting in a control centre on the ground. Taranis, however, can also be let off its digital leash and allowed to think for itself using artificially intelligent automated systems. Left to its own devices, Taranis can take off, find its way to a combat zone, select a target, attack said target with missiles and then find its way home and land. A ground pilot would be needed only to keep an eye on events and take control if there was a problem.Thunder follows LightningRemoving the pilot, together with the systems required for a human being to fly a fighter aircraft and remain alive during the gut-wrenching manoeuvres this involves, has many advantages--not least of them, cost. A manned version of Taranis, were one to be built, would be twice the size and twice the price. The current prototype is thought to have set BAE back by around £185m ($244m). That is cheap for what is a one-off experimental prototype. The F-35, a ten-country effort led by Lockheed Martin, is reckoned to be the most expensive military weapons system in history. Some $50bn was spent developing the aircraft, which cost around $100m each.At present, Taranis is not scheduled for production. It was built to explore what such a drone is capable of achieving. After a series of successful test flights in Australia (pictured above), BAE's engineers are ready to apply the lessons they have learned to their designs of combat aircraft that might take to the sky a decade or so hence.The good news for pilots is that even in drone-heavy air forces they will still have a job--though not necessarily in the air. Many will be employed supervising drones from the ground. Others, though, will indeed remain flying for, as Michael Christie, BAE's head of air strategy, observes, in the future pilotless and piloted fighter aircraft will operate together.A human being who can make decisions will always be needed somewhere in the system, Mr Christie reckons. And in some cases it would be best if that person was in the aerial thick of things. Just as fighter pilots now fly with wingmen alongside them, a single pilot could fly with a number of combat drones, similar to Taranis, as his "wingbots". The drones would operate autonomously but respond to a pilot's command. They might be used to reconnoitre an area or attack it, permitting the manned aircraft to hold back.The idea of people flying in formation with drones is being explored in several other countries, too. Last year Lockheed Martin's research engineers converted an F-16 fighter into an unmanned drone, complete with various anti-collision systems, and flew it alongside a manned fighter to carry out ground attacks on a test range. Japan is also looking at using drone squadrons to accompany piloted aircraft. Japanese officials say the drones could undertake defensive twists and turns at g-forces so high that a human being could not withstand them, and thus be used to divert incoming missiles away from a manned fighter. China is also developing a combat drone known as Dark Sword, which might similarly be used in conjunction with manned fighter jets.This vision of a team of full-sized drones with a single human mind in charge gives the term "squadron leader" a whole new meaning. It also requires new technology, some of which is prefigured in the F-35. This aircraft is a massive information system, in which the amount of data generated by its sensors is beyond anything a human being could take in, so the aircraft's computers dish up only what a pilot needs to know, when he needs to know it. Information relevant to the flight at any particular time is presented on touchscreens in the cockpit and as images projected within the pilot's helmet. His vision is improved further by cameras embedded in the aircraft's skin, allowing him to "see" through its structure. That way he can spot anything which might otherwise be obscured--even things directly below.This information feed also extends to other manned aircraft, to reconnaissance drones and to ground forces. Instead of attacking a heavily defended position himself, an F-35 pilot could, for example, summon a missile strike from a ship. Eventually, this information feed will extend to his receiving data from, and issuing orders to, accompanying combat drones.All these extra data mean military aviators of the future are likely to be even more reliant than today's are on their helmets. BAE has an experimental system in which almost all the physical instruments and controls in a cockpit have been replaced by virtual ones projected into the pilot's helmet. The pilot can reach out to touch or operate these controls as if they were in physical form, with sensors recognising from his movements what he is trying to do. This could mean that when an aircraft's flight systems need updating, it is the pilot's helmet rather than the aircraft itself that is revised.Dropping the pilotSuch possibilities raise the question of just how far automated operations could spread to civil aviation. Digital fly-by-wire systems, in which computers make the high-speed decisions needed to execute manoeuvres signalled by movements of a pilot's joystick, have already migrated from military jets to the cockpits of civilian airliners. America, Russia and other countries are now exploring the possibility of using unmanned military planes to carry cargo and as refuelling tankers. Civilian freighters could be automated too. Airline bosses tend to think, however, that passengers would not be comfortable boarding a plane that has no pilots.Yet there is a halfway house for airliners. The radio operator, navigator and flight engineer have already been made redundant by technological advances. Drone technology could see the co-pilot relieved of duty, too. Airbus, for one, is known to be looking at single-pilot operation in some circumstances. Such a system would allow a ground-based pilot to take control of an aircraft in the event of a problem. A team of seasoned pilots based in a control centre would be able to monitor a fleet of jets. Whether that would be enough to reassure the nervous traveller, even if it results in lower fares, remains to be seen.This article appeared in the Science and technology section of the print edition under the headline "Welcome to the wingbot"

References