Unmanned fighters approaching the ground…an American revolution in the field of military aircraft

Small fighters capable of flying at distances close to the Earth’s surface and carrying out multiple missions using artificial intelligence technologies, all at a reasonable financial cost.

These will be the latest specifications of drones that the US Army is developing to keep pace with modern changes.

A newspaper says Wall Street Journal The US Army is developing unmanned jet fighters that can fly 10 meters above the ground and can launch a barrage of missiles.

And she says Air Force and Space Magazine The current vision is the development of small fighter planes that operate with artificial intelligence, and work side by side with pilots of the newest fighters in the US Air Force, such as the F-35 and the new B-21 bomber, in addition to that they will be equipped with their own weapons to attack other targets on the ground, and carry out electronic warfare missions. It will be an additional weapons store, and a communications and intelligence center.

“It will be able to fly at subsonic speeds, and carry missiles and other weapons to fire on enemy aircraft and targets on the ground, including ships,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

These fighters are called Cooperative Combat Aircraft, or CCA, and are part of a program for which a budget of $6 billion has been allocated. However, this cost does not match the high cost of current military aircraft, which prompted the Air Force to shift towards this new generation of drones that use the latest Technologies at the lowest costs.

The Wall Street Journal explains that the current goal is to manufacture 1,000 drones of this type in the coming years.

The Air Force and Space Magazine says that in its 2024 budget request, the Air Force outlined a plan to spend $5.8 billion over the next five years, and $392 million in fiscal year 2024 alone, “this number represents a small down payment on what appears to be a huge program.”

Last January, an Air Force spokesman said that it had awarded contracts to five companies to design and build cooperative combat aircraft: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Anduril, and General Atomics.

The company was founded “to transform U.S. and allied defense capabilities through software, hardware, and combination technology including artificial intelligence,” Anduril’s statement said.

A Boeing spokesman said the company is “confident in our ability to provide the U.S. Air Force with a capable, versatile, and affordable collaborative combat aircraft fleet that can be efficiently produced and delivered at scale.”

A Northrop Grumman spokesman confirmed that the company “is working closely with the US Air Force… using our extensive experience in advanced manufacturing, digital technologies, and autonomous systems to deliver cooperative combat aircraft capabilities quickly and at a reasonable cost.”

General Atomics unveiled its “Gamibit” drone, noting that it features “improved external sensor configurations” and saying that it is ready to “escort fighters and ground attack.”

and used Boeing MQ-28 Ghost Bat artificial intelligence “to work with existing military aircraft to complement and extend airborne missions.” Boeing points to features such as “sensors that support intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and early warning missions.”

Modern concept of aircraft

It also has a “low-cost design that allows operators to confidently place it on the front line.”

Anduril is developing its Fury aircraft. The Wall Street Journal says that “Fairy” and “Ghostbeat” are between 10 and 15 meters long, half the size of the F-16, the most widespread fighter in the world.

The Air Force has General Atomics’ Reaper and Predator drones in use in the Middle East, but the new, larger versions are seen as necessary to handle the vast distances of the Western Pacific.

“It does a lot of things that traditional manned fighter aircraft are not designed to do,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said.

The emergence of the new aircraft reflects the strides made in aviation software, using artificial intelligence, replacing the technology that allowed planes to be controlled from the ground, with software that allows planes to fly independently and adapt to changing conditions in combat.

“We are much more advanced now,” said Brandon Tseng, founder and president of Shield AI, which makes aviation software and drones.

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