News Release

Program Executive Office (Cruise Missiles and Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

Commercial: (301) 757-6316

Fax: (301) 757-6343

DATE: 24 APRIL 1998



The Tactical Control System, a single command, control, communications, data receipt and data dissemination system for Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Medium Altitude UAVs, and all future Tactical UAVs, is currently under test at the Fallon, Nevada Naval Strike Warfare Center. From April 20-22, TCS successfully completed full air vehicle autonomous flight control and payload control with a Predator surrogate air vehicle, the GNAT 750. TCS successfully conducted air vehicle handovers from a second ground system, performed payload control, developed and uploaded a flight route plan to the air vehicle in flight, and conducted dynamic retasking and replanning of the in flight air vehicle.

Following testing at Fallon, TCS tests will then move to Yuma, Arizona, for passive listening tests with two Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) air vehicles in flight tests from May 4-8.

Since February 7, 1997 when the Joint Requirements Oversight Council signed an Operational Requirements Document (ORD) establishing the requirements for the TCS, numerous field tests have been conducted showing its viability. Fundamental requirements for TCS are to command, control, and communicate with the Medium Altitude Endurance UAVs and Tactical UAVs in development and with all future tactical UAVs. In addition, the ORD requires that TCS receive air vehicle telemetry and payload data from these UAVs and disseminate this information to a set of 22 warfighting C4I systems.

Although identified as prototype systems, the systems being provided to the warfighter are initial engineering builds of the TCS Block 0 design to be evaluated in formal operational testing. Through this process, TCS capabilities have evolved and been successfully demonstrated in 7 tests and exercises over the last 14 months. TCS has successfully demonstrated the capability to communicate with 5 different types of air vehicles with the same core TCS system working in standard service identified computers.





TCS is under the cognizance of the Program Executive Office (Cruise Missiles and Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (PEO(CU)) where it is being developed within the new DOD 5000 acquisition cycle framework, using a build-a-little, test-a-little design approach in order to provide, as rapidly as possible, an improved capability to the warfighter. The strong set of program objectives and fundamental requirements provided by the Joint ORD are allowing early operational evaluations to be performed by the warfighting communities. These well-defined objectives allow for interim products to be defined, developed and provided to the warfighter within the overall concept of an incremental system development approach.

For more information call Cathy Partusch, PEO(CU) Public Affairs Officer, (301) 757-6316 or check the PEO(CU) Web Site at


Photos/Charts included within this release.




TCS Image 1: Representative image displayed on TCS Workstation

TCS Image 2: Tactical Control System in Pre-production test shelter with C-Band line of sight antenna. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO)


TCS Image 3: Predator surrogate air vehicle (GNAT-750) at NAS FALLON, NV (U.S. NAVY PHOTO)

TCS Image 4: Predator surrogate air vehicle (GNAT-750) at NAS Fallon, NV (U.S. NAVY PHOTO)

TCS Image 5: Predator surrogate being prepared for flight at NAS FALLON, NV (U.S. NAVY PHOTO)