Air Force and Boeing Roll Out First Loyal Wingman Aircraft
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued May 05, 2020)
Boeing Australia has rolled out the first of three Loyal Wingman aircraft, which are designed to fly alongside existing platforms and use artificial intelligence to conduct teaming missions. How they can be effectively controlled in combat remains unclear, however. (Boeing photo)
The first military aircraft to be designed and built in Australia in more than 50 years has been rolled out as part of a partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force and Boeing Australia.

The Morrison Government has invested up to $40 million in the Boeing Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program, alongside Boeing’s largest investment in a new unmanned aircraft program outside the United States.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new capability would help protect and support Australia’s most valuable Defence aircraft, and the pilots who fly them: “We’re investing to enhance the agility and capability of the Australian Defence Force so we can protect our nation and our allies. It means Australia can sharpen its edge and prepare for the future,” the Prime Minister said.

“Our investment also highlights our Government’s commitment to growing and developing our local defence industry, creating jobs and boosting our global export potential.

“The Loyal Wingman program has helped support around 100 high tech jobs in Australia. Such projects will be critical to bolster growth and support jobs as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Loyal Wingman will have a range of more than 3,700 kilometres, enabling Defence to better understand how these types of aircraft can be used as a force-multiplier, helping to project power forward while keeping manned capabilities out of harm’s way.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds CSC said the partnership allowed Defence to bring innovation to Australia in an exciting, future-focused technology space.

“The program will examine how autonomous unmanned aircraft can support existing manned aircraft, such as our Joint Strike Fighters, Super Hornets and Growlers,” Minister Reynolds said.

“This is Australian ingenuity at its finest, and presents Australia and our allies with opportunities for critical capabilities to fight emerging global threat systems.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the program was welcome news for Australia’s defence industry, particularly suppliers from small businesses.

“This is a truly historic moment for our country. It’s the first time that Australian industry are locally designing, developing and manufacturing an aircraft of this type,” Minister Price said.

“This demonstrates the importance of the relationship that Defence has with companies like Boeing, and defence industry more broadly, and provides a fantastic example of the innovation we can achieve together.”

The first aircraft is scheduled to commence ground trials soon.

(ends)



Boeing Rolls Out First Loyal Wingman Unmanned Aircraft
(Source: Boeing Co.; issued May 5, 2020)
SYDNEY --- A Boeing-led Australian industry team has presented the first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force, a historic milestone for the company and the Commonwealth.

The aircraft, which uses artificial intelligence to extend the capabilities of manned and unmanned platforms, is the first to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years. It is Boeing’s largest investment in an unmanned aircraft outside of the United States.

As the first of three prototypes for Australia’s Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program, the aircraft also serves as the foundation for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (ATS) being developed for the global defense market.

“This is a truly historic moment for our country and for Australian defence innovation,” said the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia. “The Loyal Wingman will be pivotal to exploring the critical capabilities our Air Force needs to protect our nation and its allies into the future.”

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, said the rollout of the first aircraft was a significant milestone in the Boeing Loyal Wingman project.

“This project is an excellent example of innovation through collaboration and what can be achieved working together with defence industry,” said Air Marshal Hupfeld. “This demonstrates the importance of the relationship Air Force has with Boeing Australia and defence industry more broadly. I look forward to exploring the capabilities this aircraft may bring to our existing fleet in the future.”


Boeing sees its Airpower Teaming System as being configured to complement and extend airborne missions such as ISR and tactical early warning, through affordable smart teaming with existing military platforms.


More than 35 members of Australian industry are supporting prototype work across four Australian states. With a global market demand for highly capable but extremely affordable unmanned aircraft, Boeing applied company-wide innovation to achieve those goals. The aircraft was engineered using a digital twin to model its structures, systems, capabilities and full life-cycle requirements; manufactured with Boeing’s largest-ever resin-infused single composite piece; and assembled using proven advanced manufacturing processes.

“We are proud to take this significant step forward with the Royal Australian Air Force and show the potential for smart unmanned teaming to serve as a force multiplier,” said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Autonomous Systems for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “We look forward to getting the aircraft into flight testing and proving out the unmanned teaming concept. We see global allies with those same mission needs, which is why this program is so important to advancing the development of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System.”

The Loyal Wingman prototype now moves into ground testing, followed by taxi and first flight later this year.

(ends)

Australian-Built Aircraft Military Milestone
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued May 05, 2020)
The first military aircraft to be designed and built in Australia in more than 50 years has been rolled out as part of a partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force and Boeing Australia.

The Australian Government has invested up to $40 million in the Boeing Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program, alongside Boeing’s largest investment in a new unmanned aircraft program outside the United States.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new capability would help protect and support Australia’s most valuable Defence aircraft and the pilots who fly them.

"We're investing to enhance the agility and capability of the Australian Defence Force so we can protect our nation and our allies. It means Australia can sharpen its edge and prepare for the future," Mr Morrison said.

"Our investment also highlights our Government’s commitment to growing and developing our local defence industry, creating jobs and boosting our global export potential.

"The Loyal Wingman program has helped support around 100 high-tech jobs in Australia. Such projects will be critical to bolster growth and support jobs as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Loyal Wingman will have a range of more than 3700km, enabling Defence to better understand how these types of aircraft can be used as a force-multiplier, helping to project power forward while keeping manned capabilities out of harm’s way.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the partnership allowed Defence to bring innovation to Australia in an exciting, future-focused technology space.

"The program will examine how autonomous unmanned aircraft can support existing manned aircraft, such as our Joint Strike Fighters, Super Hornets and Growlers," Senator Reynolds said.

"This is Australian ingenuity at its finest and presents Australia and our allies with opportunities for critical capabilities to fight emerging global threat systems."

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the program was welcome news for Australia’s defence industry, particularly suppliers from small businesses.

"This is a truly historic moment for our country. It’s the first time that Australian industry are locally designing, developing and manufacturing an aircraft of this type," Ms Price said.

"This demonstrates the importance of the relationship that Defence has with companies like Boeing, and defence industry more broadly, and provides a fantastic example of the innovation we can achieve together."

The first aircraft is scheduled to begin ground trials soon.

(ends)

BAE Systems Australia Supports Boeing’s Loyal Wingman Australian Industry Team
(Source: BAE Systems; issued May 5, 2020)
BAE Systems has been selected to supply the unmanned flight vehicle management solution and simulation capability for the Loyal Wingman - Advanced Development Program led by Boeing Australia for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The company is also delivering flight control computers and navigation equipment.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, Gabby Costigan, said: “I am delighted to be working with Boeing Australia to bring a new defence capability to life that also offers enormous potential for the RAAF as well as future export markets.

“This project highlights our commitment to leading the development of new technologies and collaborating to advance autonomous capabilities. It is also an exciting opportunity to work together again, delivering a world-leading program using home-grown engineering expertise.”

BAE Systems Australia joins over 35 Australian companies in manufacturing the first military aircraft in Australia in more than 50 years. The aircraft rolled out today is the first of three prototypes for Australia’s Loyal Wingman program and serves as the foundation for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System product being developed for the global defence market.

BAE Systems Australia has worked with Boeing on a number of projects over the past 30 years. Both companies have a shared national heritage having partnered on a number of early unmanned flight vehicles. They include the Jindivik and Turana Target Drones, GTV Glide Bomb and the Ikara unmanned torpedo delivery system.

Boeing was also a valued contributor to the development of the BAE Systems’ Nulka and a supplier of leading-edge composite technology and parts into BAE Systems for the Australian component of the NATO Evolved SeaSparrow Missile program.

The relationship with Boeing for this game changing project will help grow BAE Systems’ Autonomous Systems and Advanced Payload groups with the creation of more than 50 jobs across engineering and manufacturing in Victoria and South Australia with scope for further work generated by export opportunities.

Boeing Airpower Teaming System program director, Shane Arnott, said: “The Loyal Wingman is a historic development program for the Australian aerospace industry, Boeing and our entire industry team, and we’ve worked together with speed and agility to deliver this smart unmanned aircraft.

“We’ve leveraged the skills of the local supply chain to build a Loyal Wingman that will work together with other airpower teaming assets to provide an unmatched capability for Australia and for our global customers.”

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