AI Controlled a Combat Fighter for Over 17 Hours in a Row

AI Controlled a Combat Fighter for Over 17 Hours in a Row

Lockheed Martin reported the first successful use of artificial intelligence for autonomous piloting of a combat fighter. The AI-controlled aircraft stayed in the air for more than 17 consecutive hours and performed various maneuvers. This happened as part of work on the VISTA X-62A universal flying test vehicle project, which is now ready for use.

If during the Second World War the development of a strike aircraft, fighter or attack aircraft took up to 3 years, today the same F-35 Lightning II has been created for 20 years and by the time of the launch it becomes hopelessly outdated. And it still takes time to train pilots, which requires ready-made copies of the aircraft. In search of a solution to this problem, Lockheed Martin came up with a concept vehicle, the characteristics of which can be quickly changed by software to simulate the functions of various models of new fighters.

As a basis they took a proven F-16 Block 30 Peace Marble II airframe, which was equipped with new engines, as well as a number of electronic systems to simulate control systems of any configuration. Thanks to this, the aircraft can reproduce in the sky in real time the characteristics of flight of various prototypes under the control of AI. Also, it is a convenient training simulator for pilot training – or rather, it will become one in the future after certification.

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