F-16’s replacement, Skyborg will be an unmanned aircraft

The U.S. Air Force aims to build a large fleet of armed, disposable jets which don’t require a conventional runway to take off and land on. Skyborg first became public in 2019, However, the Air Force believes it can have operational jets by 2023; an operational combat drone, building a family of unmanned aircraft. This will have the capability of carrying weapons as well as playing an active role in participating in combat.

Skyborg will be made available with both supersonic and subsonic engines which indicates both they’re attack and fighter jet versions. The basic designs will likely be under the table yet will include, carrying guided bombs, air defence suppression missiles, and air-to-air missiles inside internal weapons bays. Interestingly, the Air Force is considering Skyborg as a replacement not only for the MQ-9 Reaper attack drone but early versions of the F-16 manned fighter.

Originally, Skyborg was described as AI that was capable of being fielded in two ways. The first; as the software equivalent of R2D2 in the rear of an X-Wing fighter along with a flying copilot designed to assist the human pilot by taking on a minor, but still important tasks. As this would free up a human fighter to concentrate on flying the jet fighting the enemy.

Skyborg is designed to be an “attributable” aeroplane which is designed to fly a couple of miles when compared to a fully loaded jet like the F-35A. This jet will help keeps costs down which in turn allow the Air Force to buy many models.

Unmanned jets like Skyborg promise to alter the U.S. Air Force and other air forces. As on the contrary, manned aircraft come with a lot, they have become increasingly large, difficult to develop, and are comparatively expensive.




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