AI-controlled F-16 fighter jet completes test flight with US Air Force Secretary onboard

Is this how Skynet takes over the world?
  • The AI flew the plane as well as a human pilot
  • Even in a simulated dog fight it performed quite well
  • The Air Force plans to add 1,000 unmanned AI-controlled planes by 2028

Published on May 8, 2024 at 11:11AM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 9, 2024 at 6:23PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

The time has finally come – AI can now pilot an F-16 fighter jet without any human involvement.

US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall rode in the AI-controlled F-16 fighter jet, while it completed a successful test flight.

This marks a huge milestone for military aviation and could alter the course of future fighter jet development.

READ MORE! US Air Force grants $13 billion contract for next-gen ‘Doomsday plane’

The F-16 fighter jet was being controlled by an AI called ‘Vista’ as it flew at a speed of over 550mph.

Recently, the US Air Force has been pushing the integration of AI into its fleet quite aggressively.

They plan to deploy a fleet of over 1,000 unmanned AI-controlled planes by 2028.

They also simulated a dog fight between the AI plane and a real human pilot, in which the AI-controlled jet performed relatively well.

The force is already planning on investing $28 billion to develop next-gen fighter jets and unmanned fighter jets to accompany it.

The plan is to keep the sixth-generation fighter jet at the center of the formation surrounded by AI-controlled fighter jets.

The uncrewed, semi-autonomous F-16 fighter jet is part of the Collaborative Combat Aircraft Project, or CCA for short.

On a similar note, a US aircraft developer is also making an autonomous supersonic fighter jet.

According to the developer, their model could also be used as a platform by governments and other commercial players.

It looks like the future of aviation lies in AI and autonomous aircraft.

AI marks one of the biggest advances in military aviation since the introduction of stealth in the early 1990s.

“It’s a security risk not to have it. At this point, we have to have it,” Frank Kendall said in an interview.

Organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross have raised concerns over AI in military operations.

However, according to Kendall, there will always be human oversight in the system when weapons are used.

He also said he’d seen enough to trust this still-learning AI to decide whether to launch weapons in war.

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