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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    In your head

    Oz, US, designing unmanned combat drone

    Boeing Teams With Australia On New Fighter Drone

    The Loyal Wingman is designed to protect piloted aircraft and carry out surveillance missions

    Wall Street Journal
    Feb 27,2019

    Boeing has teamed up with Australia’s military to develop a combat drone almost as big as a fighter jet, intensifying a global arms race that has seen China and Russia add new stealth and uncrewed aircraft to their fleets.

    The move marks another bet by Boeing on potential export sales as the Pentagon has yet to commit to this type of aircraft, though defense analysts said large, cheaper drones could disrupt sales of existing piloted combat jets.

    Boeing last year won three big Pentagon contracts after opting to take initial upfront losses that it aims to recoup in part with higher export sales, boosting the growth profile of its defense unit.

    The so-called Loyal Wingman drone unveiled Wednesday builds on this strategy and is set to fly for the first time next year in Australia, operating either autonomously or under the direction of a pilot in an accompanying aircraft.

    Australia wants the drone to protect warplanes such as the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter, a cornerstone of the country’s $150 billion upgrade of its armed forces and a key aircraft for the U.S. and a number of allies.


    The F-35, (below) many have said, will be the last new manned fighter. More than 355 F-35s have been delivered to date and are now operating from 16 bases worldwide. The new combat drone will serve as its wingman.

  2. #2
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat View Post
    The F-35, (below) many have said, will be the last new manned fighter.
    Maybe not the last but close to it. Having to accommodate a human is the major factor limiting the performance of and adding cost to military aircraft. The days of those magnificent men in their flying machines are all but over.

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