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Defence Forces continuing research on manned-unmanned teaming of aerial vehicles

Defence Command
Publication date 12.8.2022 10.54
Press release

The Finnish Defence forces continues to conduct research on the teaming of manned-unmanned aerial vehicles as part of the joint MUM-T project carried out in cooperation with the German defence administration.

Industry from both countries participates in the project. Finland's part of the research focuses on cooperation between man and machine. The approach is independent of what specific platforms or systems are used. 

Tests and flight demonstrations related to the MUM-T research will be organised in Rovajärvi and Kemijärvi on 15-19 August, 2022.  The tests directed by the Finnish Defence Forces will be organised in cooperation with the German Armed Forces. The demonstration is a continuation in a series of tests organized in August 2021 and June 2022.

The research cooperation strengthens the Defence Forces’ understanding of the development of unmanned aviation, which enables experimenting and evaluating the teaming of unmanned and manned aerial vehicles in the local operational environment. Participation of Finnish industry reinforces national know-how, also contributing to Defence Forces' other R&D activities.  

The cooperation of manned and unmanned systems may also serve to e.g. improve situational awareness, mitigate threats to friendly troops, reduce misjudgements due to fatigue and stress, and improve military capability in situations where human reaction time is not fast enough.

The advancement of weapon technology, the changing character of war and the long development times of defence solutions require the Defence Forces to proactively adopt also technologies projected to be operational in the battlefield only decades later. It is estimated that human-commanded aerial vehicle units will be able to support air force operations starting from the 2030s. 

Participating in the MUM-T project is a part of the long-span work conducted by the Defence Forces to improve its know-how in technologies related to unmanned systems, counter measures and data transmission. This work has been pursued with partner countries as well: for example, in the Bold Quest exercise in the spring of 2019 in Sodankylä, which aimed at enhancing and testing the technical compatibility of various intelligence and fire support systems.