Boeing, Australian Air Force Says Pilotless Jet-style Jet Fighter Completed First Test Flight

Boeing, Australian Air Force Says Pilotless Jet-style Jet Fighter Completed First Test Flight

Boeing Co and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) said on Tuesday that they had completed the first flight test on a pilotless jet fighter designed to work in conjunction with manned aircraft.

The “Loyal Wingman”, the first military aircraft designed and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years, flew under the supervision of a Boeing test pilot who watched it from a ground control station in South Australia. Boeing’s Loyal Wingman is 38 feet long (11.6 meters), has a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 km), and a nose that can be removed to fit a variety of payloads. It can carry weapons and act as a shield to help protect more expensive manned fighter jets.

The Australian government said on Tuesday it would invest an additional A $ 115 million ($ 89 million) to purchase three more aircraft to develop manned aircraft team tactics, in addition to the initial investment of A $ 40 million. Boeing has said the system can be customized for other global customers.

Defense contractors are increasingly investing in autonomous technology as militaries around the world look for cheaper and safer ways to maximize their resources. Great Britain signed a GBP 30 million ($ 42 million) contract with Spirit AeroSystems’ Belfast unit in January for a similar type of pilotless aircraft for test flight over the next three years. During the test flight in Australia, the Loyal Wingman took off under its own power before traveling a predetermined route at various speeds and heights to verify functionality and demonstrate design performance.

The first Loyal Wingman is used as the basis for Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System, a service being developed for a variety of global defense customers. Boeing said additional Loyal Wingman aircraft are currently in development, with plans for team flights scheduled for later this year.

The aircraft maker has previously said that up to 16 of the Loyal Wingman jets can be paired with a manned aircraft for missions. ($ 1 = Australian Dollars 1.2900) ($ 1 = Pounds 0.7200)

(This story was not edited by our editorial team and was generated from a feed.)

News Highlights

  • Boeing Co and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) said on Tuesday that they had completed the first flight test on a pilotless jet fighter designed to work in conjunction with manned aircraft. The “Loyal Wingman”, the first military aircraft designed and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years, flew under the supervision of a Boeing test pilot who watched it from a ground control station in South Australia.
  • Boeing, Australian Air Force Says Pilotless Jet-style Jet Fighter Completed First Test Flight
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