FALLS CHURCH, Va.– Raytheon Company’s Tactical Control System has been certified as the first NATO standard unmanned ground control system. An industry first, it is the only ground system conforming to the NATO STANAG (Standardization Agreement) 4586 standard for the U.S. Navy Tactical Control System (TCS).
NATO ratified the STANAG 4586 standard, enabling allied ations to share information from unmanned aircraft through a common ground control system. NATO-compliant aircraft are equipped to translate information into standard message formats, and information received from other compliant aircraft can be transferred into vehicle-specific formats for seamless
“This is a significant first for the unmanned aircraft system technology community and the Navy,” said Mark Bigham, director of business development for Raytheon’s Tactical Intelligence Systems unit. “For more than 40 years, Raytheon has been at the forefront of developing the latest unmanned ground systems for our customers, and we have incorporated that heritage into the TCS system.”
TCS provides the Navy with an advanced ground system that can control two dissimilar air vehicles. The Navy’s MQ-8B Fire Scout by Northrop Grumman will be the first air vehicle to use this STANAG 4586-conforming software. The control system consists of mission planning, command and control, data processing and dissemination capabilities for operation of the full range of tactical unmanned aircraft systems.
“Proving an open user interface enables the unmanned aircraft system operator, trained on one system, to control different types of UAS payloads with minimal additional training,” Bigham said. “TCS also has a ‘plug-and-play’ capability that allows for seamless integration.”
TCS provides operators with all the necessary tools for communication mission tasking, planning, execution, data receipt, data processing, limited data exploitation and data dissemination.