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US Air Force trialing self-piloted F-16 fighter with commander on board as passenger

Your thoughts on this test?
  • By modifying six F-16s for autonomous testing, they’re exploring the possibilities of AI in the cockpit
  • Their goal is to develop autonomous aircraft that can support human-piloted jets
  • The US Air Force plans to invest billions of dollars in the Collaborative Combat Aircraft

Published on Apr 19, 2024 at 1:31PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 19, 2024 at 1:31PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
Self-pilot F-16 aircraft

Imagine the legendary F-16 Fighting Falcon ruling the sky.

But instead of depending on a pilot, the jet is piloting on its own.

Bizarrely, this isn’t just some pipe dream these days.

With the latest developments in AI, the innovation in the military segment are just incredible.

READ MORE: Incredible video of Airbus A380 takeoff appears almost unreal

The US Air Force is putting F-16 autonomous aircraft through its paces, with Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall himself set to take a ride.

Just imagine a fighter jet soaring through the skies, making split-second decisions without a human hand on the controls.

That’s what US Air Force is testing with its Collaborative Combat Aircraft program.

By modifying six F-16s for autonomous testing, they’re exploring the possibilities of AI in the cockpit.

These modified jets will be equipped to fly without direct human intervention, with pilots onboard only to oversee and ensure safety.

The goal is clear: to develop autonomous aircraft that can act as loyal sidekicks, supporting human-piloted jets in combat missions.

These unmanned aerial systems (UAS) could provide cover, act as scouts, or even engage in combat alongside their human counterparts.

And not to forget, the casualties in war with AI-controlled jets will be reduced to a significant number.

The US Air Force plans to invest billions of dollars in the Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) project, which is part of a broader $6 billion program.

And with the expertise of DARPA in the project, advancements in autonomous aviation have reached new heights.

DARPA’s role in integrating machine learning into the F-16 paved the way for exciting developments in military and commercial aviation.

Machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data and make decisions in real time, outpacing human capabilities in certain scenarios.

In the military arena, this means faster response times, better strategic planning, and ultimately, greater efficiency on the battlefield.

The US Air Force’s investment in AI will bring a massive transformation for the military. And the nations around the world will also recognize the transformative power of this technology.

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