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Japan to develop UAV that works alongside F-X

28th June 2021 - 01:21 GMT | by Koji Miyake in Tokyo


An artist’s impression of the F-X fighter that is being developed for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, upon which a loyal wingman UAV will be carried. (ATLA)

Japan has an indigenous 'loyal wingman' programme that will complement the future F-X fighter in the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

The Japanese MoD will start developing a UAV that can be mounted on and launched from the F-X next-generation fighter as necessary. The sensor-equipped UAV will deploy forward of the F-X and detect enemy fighters or missiles.

The F-X would then be able to fire missiles at targets detected by the UAV. In the future, the UAV will itself mount its own air-to-air missiles.

The MoD thinks that one F-X and three UAVs will make up each formation. Therefore, artificial intelligence (AI) architecture will be necessary for the manned F-X to control multiple autonomous UAVs simultaneously. For this reason, the ...

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