The US Air Force intends to equip the fleet with 1,000 drones, which can be controlled from the sides of fighters or other military aircraft. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall will ask Congress for a 2024 budget to fund this program and the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, writes defensenews.com.
According to the minister, the Air Force will acquire two guided UAVs for each of the 200 NGAD platforms and two for each of the 300 F-35 fighters. He is confident that these types of drones “will complement and increase the efficiency of crewed fighters, significantly improve the performance of crewed aircraft and reduce risks for pilots.”
The introduction of so-called slave drones into the modernized Air Force fleet has become a top priority for Kendall as he seeks to upgrade his fighter fleet to win a future war.
Slave, or as they are also called “paired”, drones can perform various tasks:
strikes against targets, reconnaissance, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare.
The advantage of vehicles is that they are cheaper to manufacture, do not need a crew, and therefore can take part in dangerous missions.
Kendall stressed that the adoption of drones does not mean that there will be fewer fighters in the Air Force fleet. Drones will be used by pilots as an additional tool for targeting or electronic warfare or attack.
Now engineers are faced with the task of designing and improving the drone in such a way that the fighter pilot would not have to be distracted by controlling the drone. The UAVs will either be autonomous, or they can be controlled while on board the escort aircraft. So far, the military is conducting virtual testing using the X-62A flight simulator. The Air Force noted that control can be carried out through voice commands or a touch screen.
Earlier, we wrote about how the Russian Federation can establish the production of shock drones by purchasing technology from Iran.
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