The first drone equipped with the US Air Force's Skyborg made its maiden flight on April 29 at Tindal Air Force Base in Florida . For the occasion, the UTAP-22 drone from the Kratos company was equipped with the Skyborg to ensure the piloting, navigation and control functions of the device, without a pilot being in control of the aircraft. in a remote manner, as is the case today for combat drones like the Predator or the Reaper. The flight, lasting 2 hours 10 minutes, made it possible to validate the main functions of the Skyborg system, namely controlling the flight of the drone and maintaining it in its flight envelope, maneuvering the device, and ensuring navigation and security. , all autonomously.
This is undoubtedly an important step for this US Air Force program, which aims to equip a family of potentially expendable combat drones as part of the Autonomous Attritable Aircraft Experimentation program, to accompany the F35A and F-15EX and carry out missions that are too dangerous for piloted aircraft. The objective, within a few years, is to allow a pilot to control one or more combat drones while ensuring the piloting and mission control of his own aircraft, like the Australian Loyal Wingman and LANCA programs . British .
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