Combat Drone to Compete Against Piloted Plane (excerpt)
(Source: BBC News; posted June 5, 2020)
By Paul Rincon
The US Air Force will organize an air-to-air fight between an as-yet unidentified advanced autonomous aircraft against a piloted plane in July 2021. The XQ-58A Valkyrie is a possible candidate for the demonstration. (USAF photo)
The US Air Force will pit an advanced autonomous aircraft against a piloted plane in a challenge set for July 2021. The project could eventually lead to unpiloted fighter aircraft that use artificial intelligence (AI).

Lt Gen Jack Shanahan, head of the Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, called the test a "bold, bold idea".

Air Force Magazine also described the development of autonomous fighter jets as a "big Moonshot" for the military.

At a briefing organised by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Lt Gen Shanahan said he had exchanged emails last weekend with the team leader on the project, Capt Steve Rogers of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

He said the AFRL team would attempt to field "an autonomous system to go up against a human, manned system in some sort of air-to-air".

Shanahan said that, at this stage, it may not use "a lot of AI", but in time, humans and machines working together would make a "big difference".
'Swarm' of drones

When announced in 2018, the project envisioned the development of an unpiloted fighter jet. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the BBC News website.

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