Boeing has presented the Australian Air Force with a prototype of a jet-powered drone that they hope will one day fly alongside manned warplanes.
Boeing Australia presented the country’s Air Force on Tuesday with a prototype of a jet-powered drone that they hope will one day fly alongside manned warplanes while bringing artificial intelligence to the battlefield.
The Loyal Wingman, at 38-foot-long (11. 5 meters) and with a range of 2,000 miles (3,218. 6 kilometres), will “use artificial intelligence to fly independently, or in support of manned aircraft, while maintaining a safe distance between other aircraft,” according to Boeing’s website on the project.
It’s also the first aircraft “to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years,” Boeing said in a statement.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the drones will protect the country’s pricier combat aircraft like F-35 stealth fighters and their pilots.