Australian Military Gets First Drone That Can Fly With AI

Original article was published on Communications of the ACM – Artificial Intelligence

By CNN
May 14, 2020
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The first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft.

The Royal Australian Air Force has taken possession of a prototype jet-powered drone that Boeing Australia said will use artificial intelligence to “fly independently, or in support of manned aircraft.”

Credit: Boeing Australia

The Royal Australian Air Force has received a prototype of a jet-powered drone that Boeing Australia said will use artificial intelligence (AI) to “fly independently, or in support of manned aircraft.”

The Loyal Wingman is 38 feet long, has a range of 2,000 miles, and can engage in electronic warfare and intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance missions.

Boeing noted the drone can quickly transition between those roles.

Former Royal Australian Air Force chief Leo Davies described how a drone with AI would interact with human pilots. Said Davies, “We need the flexibility and agility of the human meshed with the speed of a machine. When we put those together, we’ve got a quite amazing outcome.”

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