The F-16’s replacement won’t have a pilot at all

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Somehow, Skyborg will be an operational weapon system in just three years.

The U.S. Air Force is planning to field an operational combat drone by 2023.

The service says Skyborg will replace older weapon-slinging drones and even early models of the F-16.

Skyborg will be reusable but could be sacrificed in combat if necessary.

The U.S. Air Force plans to have an operational combat drone by 2023. The service plans to build out a family of unmanned aircraft, known as Skyborg, capable of carrying weapons and actively participating in combat. The Air Force’s goal is to build up a large fleet of armed, sort-of disposable jets that don’t need conventional runways to take off and land.

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Elon Musk: ‘F-35 fighter jets would have no chance against drones’

 

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Elon Musk has suggested Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, which are a key part of the Morrison government’s $200 billion investment in defence, would “have no chance” against an autonomous drone in the battlefield.

“The fighter jet era has passed,” Mr Musk said at the US Air Force’s Air Warfare Symposium in Florida.

“Drone warfare is where the future will be. It’s not that I want the future to be this – it’s just, this is what the future will be.”

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Drones are making America’s F-22 and F-35 more deadly than ever

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US Air Force F-22s and F-35s will soon launch and control recoverable attack drones from the cockpit of the plane.

 Key point: This technology, which hinges upon higher levels of autonomous navigation, brings a wide swath of improved mission possibilities.

US Air Force F-22s and F-35s will soon launch and control recoverable attack drones from the cockpit of the plane to expand air-combat operations, test enemy air defenses, conduct long-range ISR and even deliver weapons.

This fast-approaching technology, which calls upon advanced levels of autonomous navigation, is closer to reality due of DARPA’s Gremlins program which plans to break new ground by launching – and recovering – four drones from an in-flight C-130 next year.

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