Boeing Launches New Drone for Coordinated Flight With Manned Aircraft

Boeing has unveiled an unmanned aerial system that uses artificial intelligence to support “smart teaming” with existing manned military aircraft.

The company said Wednesday the new Boeing Airpower Teaming System is designed to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations and electronic warfare missions.

Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Boeing's autonomous systems, said the platform will serve as a force multiplier in the field with its ability to reconfigure quickly and carry out various types of missions along with other aircraft.

Designed by Boeing Australia, the 38-foot-long drone uses AI to fly independently for more than 2K nautical miles as well as operate with manned aircraft.

Christopher Pyne, Australia’s defense minister, presented a model of the unmanned platform at the recent Australian International Airshow.

Boeing has partnered with the Australian government to build a concept demonstrator of the system — Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program – to determine potential improvements or requirements prior to production.

The company expects the aircraft to make its first flight in 2020.

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