Old 27th Feb 2019, 03:03
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Loyal wingman - new drone revealed by Boeing in Australia

Well well.
I knew there were all sorts of classified things things going on out in the GAFA.
But this is very interesting.
I wonder what other secrets Woomera is currently hiding.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/comp...27-p510ky.htmlAustralian designed and built autonomous drones could fly alongside RAAF aircraft acting as a “wingman” that would take enemy fire or increase attack firepower, if a research program revealed by aerospace giant Boeing takes off.

More pix and detail here:

The company and the federal government on Wednesday revealed the until-now secretive program that has been underway for several years in Brisbane.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said the federal government would invest $40 million over four years to develop a test model of what would be the first new Australian-backed military aircraft since World War II. [img]https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.322%2C$multiply_1%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C $x_31%2C$y_47/t_crop_custom/w_375/q_86%2Cf_auto/635e04ead3a8a612ed4bbb965db24ee73d34251c A model of the unmanned Boeing Airpower Teaming System which was unveiled at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria on Wednesday.

Dubbed the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, or “Loyal Wingman”, Boeing expects to build and test a concept model of the almost 12-metre armed and unmanned aircraft in Australia in 2020.

Between four and 16 of the drones, guided with artificial intelligence, would accompany military aircraft - including Australia’s F-35, Hornet, Super Hornet, Growler, Poseidon and Wedgtail jets – to expand their attacking power and range.

The drones, unveiled at the Avalon Airshow near Geelong on Wednesday, would also serve as an expendable shield that would take fire when under attack.

“You just extend your reach because you’ve got a team of these systems that fly alongside you that you’re in command of,” said Shane Arnott, a director of Boeing’s defence and security research arm.

“The air commander or the operator can take increased risk because you haven’t got a person in this particular platform. So as you go into the higher threat environment it’s better for one of these to take a hit than it is for a manned platform.”

Dr Arnott said demand from customers would determine whether the Wingman would go into production, and that other militaries were already showing interest. [img]https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.421%2C$multiply_1%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C $x_241%2C$y_49/t_crop_custom/w_375/q_86%2Cf_auto/ba59db7ac68f10f59ebd13fd71f95da43e43a78c Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said the federal government would invest $40 million over four years to develop a test model.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

"One of the reasons we’ve done this in Australia... [is] there’s a lot of space for us to go and fly and try, and fail, and hopefully succeed,” he said.

If it goes into production, Boeing said it intended to build the drones somewhere in Australia, which Mr Pyne said would bring significant opportunities to export the Wingman to other Five Eyes military partners.

“This is the first aircraft concept that Australia has invested in, in the military, since the Boomerang [fighter aircraft] in 1942 to ’45,” Mr Pyne said.

“But more importantly it’s the decision by the government to invest in the capability here in Australia - our own ingenuity, or own innovation, supporting Australian research and development.”

However Mr Pyne said the program was years away from possible exports or the drones entering Australia’s military arsenal.

Boeing developed the Loyal Wingman concept and pitched to the Australian government and RAAF.

“Boeing, like many other corporations around the world… recognised that Australia was taking seriously the largest build up in our military capability in peace time history, and all of those companies are interested in being part of that story," he said.
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