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The system was developed by QinetiQ, formerly the Government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, with funding from the MOD’s Research Acquisition Organisation (part of science / innovation and technology). While only one aircraft was physically being flown, it had banks of duplicated equipment to mimic three further UAVs, all of which were successfully flown onto targets during the demonstration.
A passenger jet simulating a pilotless combat aircraft was flown from RAF Boscombe Down to an area of the Bristol Channel target area by its normal crew – who then "handed over" control to the pilot of a nearby RAF Tornado fighter via data links from his cockpit.
Once at operating height the crew of the passenger jet - a standard BAC 1-11 but with seats replaced by three autonomous sets of hi-tech Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle simulators - relaxed as the Tornado pilot took over the controls and instructed the commercial jet and its three virtual equivalents to proceed towards the targets.