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US Air Force AI-powered F-16 training jet takes the skies

16th February 2023 - 16:30 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


VISTA is currently undergoing a series of routine inspections and flights will resume at Edwards Air Force Base throughout 2023. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The reengineered artificial intelligence-driven, autonomous F-16 jet is fitted with an open system architecture and software that allows it to mimic the performance characteristic of other aircraft.

Lockheed Martin has flown the world’s first AI-powered training aircraft, the Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft (VISTA) X-62A for more than 17 hours.

This took place as part of 12 flight tests conducted at the end of last year, but Lockheed Martin only announced it this month. The trials were conducted in support of the USAF Test Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and DARPA.

According to a 412th Test Wing news release, AFRL’s Autonomous Air Combat Operations (AACO) and DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution (ACE) AI-driven autonomy agents piloted the USAF Test Pilot School’s (USAF TPS's) X-62A to perform advanced fighter manoeuvres.


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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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