To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

Air Combat Evolution programme progresses to next phase

16th February 2022 - 11:43 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The ACE program will help to develop the next generation of pilots by integrating AI and the human pilot on the F-16. (Photo: USAF)

The US DoD has commenced the search for partners for the next stage of the ACE programme.

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting proposals for the next phase of the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) Programme, which aims to upgrade F-16 aircraft.

ACE seeks to convert existing F-16 aircraft into human-on-the-loop, safety-sandboxed testbed aircraft to support autonomy development and experimentation.

The ACE programme is one part of the agency’s larger Mosaic Warfare warfighting concept.

Mosaic Warfare is an approach wherein capabilities traditionally provided by a single platform are instead provided by a heterogeneous set of crewed and uncrewed systems.

ACE will apply existing AI technologies to platforms while, simultaneously, implementing methods to increase human trust in combat autonomy performance.

Following a successful first phase, DARPA is progressing the programme to Phase 2 and Phase 3.

Phase 2 is expected to have a duration of 15 months, during which the performer will design a technical solution, perform fabrication, installation and testing of kits to convert two F-16D aircraft.

Phase 3 consists of flight tests with multiple options. The options relate to the testing of additional hardware options and on alternative aircraft, such as the F-16C equipped with APG-83 radar.

This next stage of the programme is scheduled to start in Q3 2022 and is expected to finish at the end of Q4 2024.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

As part of our promise to deliver comprehensive coverage to Premium News and Defence Insight …

Read full bio

Share to