Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

RAF Mosquito

Old 26th Jan 2021, 07:24
  #1 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,131
RAF Mosquito

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/3...ones-k0cdk8lds

£30m deal to build Britain’s first fleet of unmanned fighter drones

Britain’s first fleet of unmanned fighter aircraft will be developed in Northern Ireland following a £30 million investment by the Ministry of Defence.

The “loyal wingman” aircraft, as it has been nicknamed, will be designed to fly at high speeds alongside fighter jets such as the Typhoon or F-35.

The contract to design and manufacture the prototype, which is expected to support 100 jobs, was handed to Spirit AeroSystems, an American company, in Belfast in a three-year deal.

Team Mosquito will develop the RAF’s Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (Lanca) technology, with a vehicle flight-test programme expected by the end of 2023. The MoD plans to start manufacturing the first aircraft by 2025.

Armed with missiles, surveillance and electronic warfare technology, it will be Britain’s first uncrewed aircraft able to target and shoot down enemy aircraft and survive against surface-to-air missiles. The crewed aircraft will be able to assign tasks such as electronic warfare, surveillance or bombing missions to the Lanca drones, increasing the air power at a lower cost and risk to RAF aircrew.......

Richard Berthon, director of the MoD’s Future Combat Air, said the RAF’s Lanca technology was a vital element of its future combat capabilities. “Autonomous ‘loyal wingman’ aircraft create the opportunity to expand, diversify and rapidly upgrade combat air forces in a cost-effective way, now and in the future,” he said.

Mike Wigston, chief of the air staff, said: “We’re taking a revolutionary approach, looking at a game-changing mix of swarming drones and uncrewed fighter aircraft . . . alongside piloted fighters like Tempest, that will transform the combat battlespace in a way not seen since the advent of the jet age.”......


ORAC is online now  
Old 26th Jan 2021, 08:20
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere flat
Age: 65
Posts: 4,708
So as well as combat it can perform ISTAR roles as well? Why not call it the Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Identification Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance, or "LANCISTAR" instead of Mosquito?

I'd like to see a fast jet pilot - in combat, flying both his own aircraft and a swarm of drones.......
Wensleydale is online now  
Old 26th Jan 2021, 08:25
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Near the coast
Posts: 1,994
Wensleydale

The whole point of AI is that it is pre-programmed to know what to do and follow a bunch of pre-determined parameters.

If it is well designed and well integrated the FJ pilot won’t need to do very much at all. The drones are just there as assets at his/her disposal. Like having extra missiles or a longer range sensor.

I really don’t think it will involve a pilot flying a Typhoon/F35/Tempest whilst simultaneously controlling a bunch of drones with a controller!

BV
Bob Viking is online now  
Old 26th Jan 2021, 08:34
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 1,136
Spot on BV. And quite aside from AI an autonomous system can be wonderfully dumb - in a positive sense. No AI whatsoever required for the following:

Follow the ACO outbound to the millimetre.
Don’t run out of gas.
Don’t transgress any known ACM.
Don’t penetrate a known MEZ. (I’ll let you know by text if there are any new ones).
Don’t leave the FIR.
Don’t fly into me.
Don’t get more than 20nm from me.
Don’t employ without my say so.
If you’re near a POI and can capture an ISR product please do.
If we lose comms for X minutes go back to CAP, for Y minutes then RTB.
Go home obeying the ACO to the millimetre.

All things you might hope your manned wingy would achieve but that you could never guarantee - now simply check boxes on a mission planner.
orca is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2021, 08:50
  #5 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,131
All things you might hope your manned wingy would achieve but that you could never guarantee - now simply check boxes on a mission planner.

ORAC is online now  
Old 26th Jan 2021, 10:55
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: front seat, facing forwards
Posts: 1,127
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
The whole point of AI is that it is pre-programmed to know what to do and follow a bunch of pre-determined parameters.

If it is well designed and well integrated the FJ pilot won’t need to do very much at all. The drones are just there as assets at his/her disposal. Like having extra missiles or a longer range sensor.

I really don’t think it will involve a pilot flying a Typhoon/F35/Tempest whilst simultaneously controlling a bunch of drones with a controller!

BV
Hopefully that will stem all the usual naysayers who think we just can't manage without their insight since they left.
just another jocky is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2021, 11:57
  #7 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,131
Mike Wigston, chief of the air staff, said: “We’re taking a revolutionary approach, looking at a game-changing mix of swarming drones and uncrewed fighter aircraft . . . alongside piloted fighters like Tempest, that will transform the combat battlespace in a way not seen since the advent of the jet age.”......

ORAC is online now  
Old 26th Jan 2021, 14:58
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 2,181
Voice activated, secure data linked - 'echelon starboard go'; 'diamond nine go'; … …
Advanced formation flying.
Basic training
safetypee is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2021, 07:51
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere flat
Age: 65
Posts: 4,708
At last - the movement of the Red Arrows to Waddington makes sense. One jet, eight drones and Red 1 flies his aerobatics routine with everything else on pre-programmed automatic pilot.
Wensleydale is online now  
Old 27th Jan 2021, 09:57
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 519
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
The whole point of AI is that it is pre-programmed to know what to do and follow a bunch of pre-determined parameters.

If it is well designed and well integrated the FJ pilot won’t need to do very much at all. The drones are just there as assets at his/her disposal. Like having extra missiles or a longer range sensor.

I really don’t think it will involve a pilot flying a Typhoon/F35/Tempest whilst simultaneously controlling a bunch of drones with a controller!

BV
s
Indeed. According to Project Astra it will be so easy to fly manned and unmanned vehicles that “Other professions” will do it in their spare time.
Timelord is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2021, 15:38
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: front seat, facing forwards
Posts: 1,127
Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
s
Indeed. According to Project Astra it will be so easy to fly manned and unmanned vehicles that “Other professions” will do it in their spare time.
If technology could make it easy to fly, can you think of a reason why they shouldn't? Or should we purposely make aircraft difficult to fly?

Give me easy every day, then I can focus on the job at hand.
just another jocky is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2021, 16:47
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 519
No reason at all. My doubt is about operating them being a part time duty for “Other professions”. Astra seems to envisage your “Job at hand” rather differently.
Timelord is offline  
Old 10th Sep 2021, 12:07
  #13 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,131
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...es-jet-emerges

New Unmanned Loyal Wingman Design Based On Stealthy “Son Of Ares" Jet Emerges

Scaled Composites, together with its parent company Northrop Grumman, has unveiled a new unmanned aircraft design, known as the Model 437, which could be configured as a "loyal wingman" intended to work networked together with manned platforms. As such, it could meet the requirements of various efforts seeking to develop, at least in part, this kind of capability, such as the U.S. Air Force's Skyborg program and the U.K. Royal Air Force's Project Mosquito. The Model 437 is also notably derived from earlier stealthy Model 401, also known as the "Son of Ares," which Scaled Composites has now confirmed is intended to be pilot-optional.......





ORAC is online now  
Old 10th Sep 2021, 12:32
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: London
Posts: 486

This is a long video but worth listening to IMO. I've put it at a point where you might get a sense of the state of the game in AI. Prof Furber is one of the creators of the ARM instruction set that's powering all your phones and he is now working on a project that has built a neuromorphic computer at Manchester University which has 1 million processors with an architecture that's designed for emulating spiking neural networks.

Elsewhere in the video you'll hear how a room--sized machine could now emulate a mouse brain if we knew enough about how it works to create a model.

This is not to be down on AI at all but I feel that those of us outside the field might not have a very good idea of the difficulty of the challenge.

t43562 is offline  
Old 10th Sep 2021, 13:18
  #15 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,131
But they’re not looking at AI, just enough algorithmic ability to target independently and perform air combat.

https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2020-08-26

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021...ongshot-drone/


Last edited by ORAC; 10th Sep 2021 at 13:29.
ORAC is online now  
Old 10th Sep 2021, 15:58
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,056
I am assuming they are cheaper to purchase.................

We are going to need large numbers of these and places to store them. I assume they launch from a runway too.

And large numbers of trained technicians to maintain what is in essence an airframe.

It'll be interesting to see these develop.

Arc
Arclite01 is offline  
Old 10th Sep 2021, 16:45
  #17 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 12,131
We are going to need large numbers of these and places to store them. I assume they launch from a runway too.
Those such as Longshot are planned to be able to be air launched by the B-21 and perhaps underwing my other platforms. They could also possibly by ground launched by truck based launchers - g forces not being an issue.

The advantage of such a platform is that it doesn’t need to practice to remain current so no training flights are required and they can be stored in hermetically sealed containers for prolonged periods negating the need for maintenance with software updates and power provided by umbilicals if necessary.

Build a version with folding wings and control surface and they could even be container launched by ships and submarines - a major factor in a region with long transit times such as the pacific.
ORAC is online now  
Old 13th Sep 2021, 14:42
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: London
Posts: 486
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
But they’re not looking at AI, just enough algorithmic ability to target independently and perform air combat.

https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2020-08-26

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021...ongshot-drone/
I did read about that and I'm sure that impressive things will get done but I just caution that demos like this often include "simplifications" of one kind or another that don't get emphasised in the tests and billions have been and will be spent on things that have horrible behavior in edge cases. While you're busy thinking how amazing it is you should remember that it might be about as smart as e.g. a bee - if we're lucky. That leaves a *lot* of possible situations which it might not be able to handle. This is not forever - because the technology is advancing - it's just that it gets hyped so much that one tends to lose all sense of proportion. There is a debate you could have about Algorithmic approaches versus machine learning or deep neural networks but as I understand it many of the cool things that can be done (such as identifying things based on signals or images) will require ML or Neural nets and for these it is not easy to prove that there is no odd or unexpected behavior caused by biases in the training data. So I think it's still more the case that we'll be using humans-with-ai-assistance for a while. I'm not important in the field or anything like that all so FWIW my opinion doesn't carry any weight.
t43562 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2021, 16:22
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,056
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Those such as Longshot are planned to be able to be air launched by the B-21 and perhaps underwing my other platforms. They could also possibly by ground launched by truck based launchers - g forces not being an issue.

The advantage of such a platform is that it doesn’t need to practice to remain current so no training flights are required and they can be stored in hermetically sealed containers for prolonged periods negating the need for maintenance with software updates and power provided by umbilicals if necessary.

Build a version with folding wings and control surface and they could even be container launched by ships and submarines - a major factor in a region with long transit times such as the pacific.
That is actually really interesting - especially the storage aspects...... not sure we will ever have a platform to air launch ours though.

Arc
Arclite01 is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2021, 05:03
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 768
The “loyal wingman” aircraft, as it has been nicknamed, will be designed to fly at high speeds alongside fighter jets such as the Typhoon or F-35.
I know you Englishman think that anything worthwhile can only be built and operated by HM subjects but get onboard or get out of the way...if you wouldn't mind awfully.

https://www.airforce.gov.au/our-mission/loyal-wingman

Lookleft is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.