Since the inception of powered flight, manned aerial vehicles have been a force multiplier on the battlefield.
With the emergence of new technology, the structure of the military battlefield is changing. One such
technology, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has emerged as a valuable asset for today's war fighter.
UAVs have traditionally been operated by ground control stations, yet minimum research has been targeted
towards UAV connectivity. Airborne Manned Unmanned System Technology Baseline (AMUST-Baseline)
was a concept that demonstrated the battlefield synergy gained by Manned and Unmanned Vehicle teaming.
AMUST-Baseline allowed an Apache Longbow's (AH-64D) co-pilot gunner (CPG) to have Level IV control
of a Hunter fixed wing UAV. Level IV control of a UAV includes payload control, flight control and direct
data receipt. With the success of AMUST-Baseline, AATD, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and the
Boeing Company worked towards enhanced Manned and Unmanned connectivity through a technology
investment agreement. This effort named Airborne Manned Unmanned System Technology Demonstration
(AMUST-D) focused on the connectivity between two manned platforms, Apache Longbow (AH-64D) and
Command and Control (C2) Blackhawk, and Hunter UAV. It allows robust communication from the UAV to
each platform through the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL). AMUST-D used decision aiding technology
developed under the Rotorcraft Pilots Associate (RPA) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) as to
assist in control of the Hunter UAV, as well as assist the pilot in regularly performed duties. Through the use
of decision aiding and UAV control, the pilot and commander were better informed of potential threats and
targets, thus increasing his situational awareness. The potential benefits of improved situational awareness
are increased pilot survivability, increased lethality, and increased operational effectiveness.
Two products were developed under the AMUST-D program, the Warfighter's Associate (WA) which was
integrated onto the Apache Longbow, and the Mobile Commanders Associate (MCA) which was integrated
onto the Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S) UH-60 Blackhawk. In this paper we will
discuss what WA and MCA provided to the warfighter, and the results of the HSKT ground and flight