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Experts expect ‘crawl, walk, run,’ process to make Skyborg a success

9th October 2020 - 13:45 GMT | by Tim Martin in London

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In light of debate surrounding how well-suited loyal wingman aircraft are in competing against IADS and hypersonic missiles, analysts are confident the systems will eventually prove themselves in contested environments.

Despite low cost, attritable UAV projects still yet to prove themselves in operational settings and questions remaining about their utility against high-end threats or overcoming deployment challenges, defence analysts are highly confident current developments will lead to a new era of loyal wingmen adding considerable capability to fighter jet fleets.

The USAF has already partnered with a host of industry partners on the Skyborg autonomous UAV programme that seeks a fighter-like platform equipped to iteratively field AI systems and set to take on future operations in A2/AD environments.

‘The concept will work, unquestionably,’ Mark Gunzinger, director of future concepts and …

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