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Pentagon talks Loyal Wingman

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posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 03:50 PM
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I'm actually surprised to see them talk in this much detail. It's been hinted for years that the F-35 would be able to control UAVs during missions. Now the Pentagon is detailing those plans somewhat.

Beginning in 2018 AFRL will begin testing a line replaceable "brain" for unmanned 4th gen fighters, probably QF-16s, to turn them into autonomous aircraft capable of combat missions without being controlled every minute.

Once the technology is perfected, the aircraft will be paired with F-35s on combat missions. The F-35 will act as controller and assign combat missions to the unmanned fighters. The plan is to simulate an attack on heavily defended airspace in 2022.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Any strategy that utilizes UAVs in an effort to support a pilot in combat situations is sound to me. The possibilities are endless, in both combat and support roles. Good find, and a fascinating read.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

that's pretty cool.

i wonder how this will change warfare.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 04:00 PM
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a reply to: grey580

Completely. There's a huge number of fourth generation aircraft in AMARG that can be converted. You can send F-35s or even B-21s to loiter outside defense range and whittle down the defenses with unmanned aircraft, until even older manned aircraft can get through.
edit on 3/30/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 04:05 PM
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Oops.
edit on 3/30/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 04:07 PM
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With the F-35 being only a single seat aircraft, I have concerns about overloading the pilot.
I'd rather see this being done by something along the lines of an S-3 Viking with a three or four man crew.
edit on 30-3-2016 by JIMC5499 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 04:09 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

So it means i can play with a F-35 on my oculus rift?



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 04:10 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

This is awesome. I always wondered why we would just turn a complex and powerful aircraft into scrap or target practice instead of thinking "Russian" and making use of what you got.

I LOVE the idea of upgrading our fleets of 4th gen aircraft to be swarms, protecting the more expensive super planes we got.

We should turn them all into drones and use them as force multipliers for our force multipliers.

1 person, 12 aircraft.

12 people, 144 aircraft.

Sounds great!

Lord knows we have the numbers just sitting around....turning to junk.

Now we are talking.


edit on 3 30 2016 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

That's why they're developing a brain for the unmanned aircraft. All the F-35 pilot will have to do is pick the target, then pick which aircraft will attack it. The rest will be up to the wingman. Yes it will add some load to the F-35 pilot, but not as much as other tasks.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 05:27 PM
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a reply to: tadaman

problem is those older aircraft need retiring because they are maintenance hogs, if you are flying 122 aircraft in a sortie...how many people do you need to maintain them.

It's a good idea but I imagine an early predecessor to simple maintained almost disposable drones.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: Forensick

Except they're talking about already flying, current inventory. They already have all the maintenance and parts for them.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 06:51 PM
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The ultimate tool would be able to hijack your opponents planes and use them against themselves.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 01:10 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Forensick

Except they're talking about already flying, current inventory. They already have all the maintenance and parts for them.


Except the Air Force can't keep getting bigger and bigger, i thought part of the A-10 retirement was to free up maintenance crews for the F-35?

If you just turn them into drones your maintenance and logistics footprint just gets bigger and bigger.

I'm not saying they aren't doing as I can read, but i would imagine a low maintenance specifically designed bomb truck is better than a 4th gen brain, I think it's just a test bed and technology prover.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 01:37 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

GAAAH!

They're talking about this?



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 01:41 AM
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Holy Air America!

Thats like some stuff right out of a command and conquer game.

Remember in Enders Game ? The ice battle scene

Thats what I imagine eventually. Drone Swarms.


edit on 31-3-2016 by Lysergic because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 03:18 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

That was my reaction too.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 03:21 AM
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a reply to: Forensick

How does it get bigger and bigger? It actually shrinks. You lose the requirement for life support, and all the pilot support requirements, and the maintenance for those systems, and only need to keep the actual aircraft systems fields. You're shrinking your requirements drastically.
edit on 3/31/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 03:29 AM
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Would the really old planes just be turned pretty much into a very fast bomb? when you've removed all the stuff a human needs to control the plane there must be plenty of space to strap in extra explosives and make the thing a rather large one way delivery system, especially for stuff that is literally at end of life?

But for first penetration of enemy airspace the fact that the pilot has enough firepower at the press of a button and instantly available would make probably for quite a few very surgical strikes, so the f-35 can have 2-3 planes purely for AA duty while others are designated for blowing 7 shades out of some area on the ground and the fact its computer based might make a few accidental friendly fires less likely as the f-35 pilot will be able to calmly view and check before issuing the commands.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 03:37 AM
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a reply to: Maxatoria

No, they become a UAV similar to Predator. They're armed with the weapons they carry now and are designed to return after the mission to be used again and again.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 05:52 AM
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That went grey quickly!

Lightning II and Taranis would make good friends if Taranis wasn't purely a development platform.

Cheers
Robbie



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