The United Kingdom announced they are focusing on a new combat drone concept capable of interoperating with combat aircraft.
On July 22, the British government announced that a new combat drone project was under review. This program is carried by the Rapid Capabilities Office of the Royal Air Force and by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
This project is called LANCA, as in Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft. The aim is to quickly elaborate a combat aircraft able to operate alongside traditional fighter aircraft, namely the F-35 and the Typhoon. LANCA could lead the most dangerous missions so as to reinforce the protection of inhabited aircraft and to be in the first line to transfert them information about their tactical environment. In the end, the United Kingdom even contemplates being able to operate a combat drones fleet.
As part of the LANCA program, a first project of technological demonstrator is currently under review. The project named “Mosquito” aims at elaborating a first drone system with a first flight test expected in 2022. Three companies and consortiums were selected for this project, namely Blue Bear Systems, Boeing and Callen Lenz. The latter is composed of Bombardier and of Northrop Grumman.