General Atomics claims fully autonomous AI-piloted flight with Avenger MQ-20A
A company-owned Avenger MQ-20A UAS was used on 12 September by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems to fly a military aircraft with an AI pilot and operationally relevant mission systems software.
The company revealed on 19 September that the ‘completely autonomous flight’ with the AI pilot lasted for about 30 minutes as part of a ‘cooperating live, virtual, and constructive UAS swarm’.
General Atomics employed its Reinforcement Learning (RL) architecture to develop and validate an RL agent in an operationally relevant environment — specifically, enabling ‘chase and avoid’ behaviour in which real-time updates were made to the flight path in order to avoid adversaries using live fused tracks.
The live tracks were provided to the system using a TacIRST embeddable infrared search and track sensor system supplied by Lockheed Martin.
General Dynamics Mission Systems supplied the mission computer for the flight, which is part of a series by General Atomics to demonstrate AI and machine learning concepts for advanced UAS.
More from Air Warfare
Slovakia to get US attack helicopters after donating jets to Ukraine
The US is offering a dozen AH-1Z Viper helicopters to Slovakia at two-thirds discount with the latter sending its fighters to Ukraine, which would likely extend H-1 production beyond 2023.
Singapore at-sea deployment of F-35Bs can overcome airfield dependency
Singapore could potentially deploy F-35Bs from its Joint Multi-Mission Ship to overcome airfield dependency and improve air defence as part of its apparent new security strategy.
Iraq emerges as customer for Turkish Aselpod airborne targeting system
An Iraqi Air Force Aero L-159 light attack jet has been photographed fitted with an Aselsan Aselpod targeting system, suggesting that Iraq is the export customer announced in by the company in autumn 2022.
Germany to adapt Airbus H145 helicopters for combat role
Reports suggest Germany has decided to buy Airbus H145 aircraft and modify them for armed operations instead of opting for upgraded Tiger attack helicopters.
Decision to delay UK's MQ-9B Protector programme cost £186 million
The Ministry of Defence's decision to delay the MQ-9B Protector programme by two years has cost the country £186 million, with total projected whole-life costs now at over £1.7 billion.