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The system, however, is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency through the Air Force Research Laboratory. It appears to be an improvement on the Dragon Eye, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that the U.S. Marine Corps has said is now being used in Iraq.
According to the MIT research team, a plane outfitted with the new software acts like an unmanned wingman within a fighter plane squadron. A piloted aircraft flying at a higher altitude outside of a suspected danger zone controls the companion robot plane.