Thanks to DARPA, Air Force F-35s Could Soon Have Drone Copilots

November 26, 2020 Topic: Security Blog Brand: The Reboot Tags: F-22F-35MilitaryTechnologyWorldF-15UAV

Thanks to DARPA, Air Force F-35s Could Soon Have Drone Copilots

The Air Force and DARPA are now testing new hardware and software configured to enable 4th-Generation aircraft to command drones from the cockpit in the air.

Therefore, while cargo planes or bombers with less of a need to maneuver in the skies might be more easily able to embrace autonomous flight – fighter jets will still greatly benefit from human piloting, Air Force scientists have said.

While computer processing speed and algorithms continue to evolve at an alarming pace, it still remains difficult to engineer a machine able to make more subjective determinations or respond quickly to a host of interwoven, fast-changing variables.

However, sensor technology is progressing quickly, the point where fighter pilots will increasingly be able to identify threats at much greater distances, therefore remove the need to dogfight. As a result, there may be room for an unmanned fighter jet in the not-too-distant future, given the pace of improving autonomous technology.

“Different people have different views. We believe in a control-based approach that leverages AI but does not relinquish control to AI. As a pilot develops trust, he knows what that aircraft can do and tells it to do something,” Stolz said.

This first appeared in Warrior Maven here. This piece was originally featured in August 2018 and is being republished due to reader's interest. 

Image: Flickr.