DARPA Taps BAE to Develop Multifunctional RF Payload for Drones

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded BAE Systems a pair of contracts to begin development work on a radio frequency technology platform that seeks to help unmanned aircraft systems carry out multiple missions and adapt to changing combat scenarios.

DARPA awarded the contracts worth $5.4 million combined as part of the agency’s CONverged Collaborative Elements for RF Task Operations program, BAE said Monday.

The CONCERTO program seeks to equip electronic warfare, communications and radar systems with a common hardware-based radio frequency architecture that works to perform command and control, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and other battlefield operations without the need to swap physical payloads on the ground.

“This agility is particularly important in denied environments, where multiple mission functions are typically needed to penetrate defenses and remain operational,” said Randall Lapierre, technology development manager at BAE.

The company also has started to develop an RF virtual processing platform designed to facilitate diverse operating modes through reconfiguration.

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