US Air Force Tests Out The Latest Drone Tech

The US Air Force Test out new drone tech and AI
US Air Force Tests Out The Latest Drone Tech

Are you at all interested in drones? well have we got some news for you. The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has conducted the maiden flight of an XQ-58A Valkyrie drone piloted by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Yes you heard us AI has piloted this new bit of tech, scary stuff right?

The drone was part of the AFRL’s Skyborg Vanguard and Autonomous Aircraft Experimentation programs, aiming to develop autonomous combat aircraft for contested environments. This could lead to helping people, but could also cause issues along the line.

The XQ-58A Valkyrie is an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) developed by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions for the US Air Force. It’s designed to be stealthy, fast, agile, and can carry various weapons and sensors.

The cool thing about this drone is that it can operate alongside manned fighter jets like the F-22 and F-35. Making it a keen intrest for the US Air Force.

For all the stat nerds out there, here is a quick breakdown of the specs:

  • Wingspan of 8.8 meters
  • length of 9.1 meters
  • maximum takeoff weight of 2,722 kilograms
  • maximum speed of 1,046 kilometers per hour
  • range of 4,800 kilometers.

The AFRL’s Autonomous Air Combat Operations (AACO) team developed the AI/ML algorithm that controlled the XQ-58A Valkyrie. It wasn’t a quickand easy process in order for this new AI tech to learn it went through strict training. The algorithm underwent training using millions of simulated flight hours.

It has demonstrated air-to-air and air-to-surface skills, solving tactically relevant challenges during the initial test flight. So it’s all looking pretty positive.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, for some people AI is viewed as crucial for future warfighting and decision-making speed. The AFRL foresees the evolution of AI, autonomous operations, and human-machine collaboration. But they could be a little on the biased side, because this kind of tool could make them a large amount of money

But with great progress comes more worried. It’s no shy fact that International efforts are required to manage the ethical and strategic implications of AI in warfare, ensuring responsible and accountable use. There are teams setup to ensure things transition correctly and safely.

AI-Piloted XQ-58A Valkyrie Drone are being tested by the US Air Force

The US Air Force’s successful test flight of the AI-piloted XQ-58A Valkyrie drone signifies the increasing role of AI in combat scenarios, which is not unique to the US, as other nations like China and Russia also explore AI-powered weapons. Ethical, legal, and strategic considerations must be addressed to ensure responsible AI application.

Let’s hope this type of technology is used for good and not use to start a whole new type of war. Let’s face it some people have real AI anxiety and this kind of news might be a bite concerning for them.

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