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Airbus and ANSYS partner to enable autonomous flight to support future combat air system by 2030

USA: Airbus Defence and Space is leveraging ANSYS embedded software solution to develop an advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that will be engineered for speed, safety and affordability.

Through a new strategic partnership, ANSYS and Airbus Defence and Space will collaborate to innovate a new ANSYS solution for enabling safety-critical flight controls with sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI), aiming at autonomous flight by 2030.  

The future of European airpower strongly relies on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), a system of fully automated remote air platforms teamed with revolutionary next-generation fighter jets. Developing these platforms creates a huge engineering challenge as advanced, safety-critical, AI-driven flight control software will be required to perform highly sophisticated decision making with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

The partnership between Airbus and ANSYS will engineer an advanced ANSYS SCADE tool that links traditional model-based software development with new AI-based development flow. The new ANSYS SCADE tool will be pivotal for driving the development, certification and embedding of the drone flight control software, accelerating its speed to market by significantly reducing development time and associated expenses.

“Building on our longstanding collaboration, we are excited to extend our partnership with ANSYS to design the next generation of ANSYS SCADE that will deliver an exponential leap to our autonomous capabilities.

This innovation empowers us to cost-effectively deploy AI-driven flight controls in safety-critical functions,” said Sabine Klauke, head of engineering at Airbus Defence and Space. “ANSYS SCADE will be invaluable for designing and certifying our software, significantly reducing expense, dropping the number of costly manual activities and potentially cutting development time by 50% — delivering a critical competitive advantage.”

“Airbus Defence and Space is an unmatched aerospace pioneer and is transforming the military battlespace through its creation of leading-edge air platforms, empowering them to fly smarter and with more agility than ever before.

We look forward to taking this innovative journey together, using our complimentary skillsets to achieve this bold objective,” said Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager at ANSYS. “Our collaboration radically upgrades drone capabilities and raises the bar for creating revolutionary, AI-driven flight control software across the aviation industry.”