The OpFoKus project comprises the derivation of operational requirements for a Next Generation Weapon System. The focus of the research activities lies on the creation of realistic mission scenarios, the development of an analysis plan in order to evaluate these scenarios and to derive an effective weapon system based on quality requirements and quantity statements. To accomplish this, different concepts of operation (teaming/swarming) are taken into account. The results of the study will be integrated into the aerial combat simulation environment of the institute and will be verified in human-machine experiments with pilots.

Research Priorities of the Project:

Mission Scenarios

In order to derive operational requirements for a future manned/unmanned weapons system, possible conflict situations are defined by analyzing trends. These situations are the basis for potential mission scenarios for the Bundeswehr. The spectrum ranges from simple stabilization operations (permissive environment) to intervention operations (contested environment). The latter in particular pose a major challenge to the Bundeswehr due to Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2AD) strategies of the enemy.

Assessment of Mission Scenarios

The mission scenarios are evaluated with the help of a developed analysis plan. Thereby, the mission is divided into individual phases and evaluated with regard to its quality and quantity requirements. Here, statements about the system requirements as well as the composition of the weapon system are derived.

Deployment / Operation Concepts

In classical manned air warfare, pilots always operate in a team. In the scope of this research focus, the leadership paradigm of Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) is analyzed and requirements for the system network are defined. Due to the high level of automation available in the system, it is also thinkable to use decentralized systems. This concept – known as swarming - is the focus of current military research. The operational aspect of command and control of such operation forms is examined in this study.


The guidance of several unmanned aircraft from a manned cockpit of an aircraft confronts the pilot with a high system complexity. However, in order to be able to use the flying weapon system efficiently, a concept of command and control must be developed and tested with pilots. To this end, OpFoKus uses the concepts of scalable automation, which are addressed in parallel in the SAMU project.

contributions to main research areas

This project contributes to the following research areas of the institute:

Participating Employees