The US Air Force’s jet-powered robotic wingman is like something out of a video game

The US Air Force has successfully tested an advanced, jet-powered drone called the XQ58-A Valkyrie, that could someday accompany human-piloted fighter jets on missions. The concept is a bit like something we’ve seen in video games, a drone (or swarm of drones) can fight alongside a human pilot, or absorb enemy fire in their place.

The vehicle was developed as a partnership between the Air Force Research Laboratory and Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems as a relatively cheap platform that can fill a electronic warfare, strike, and surveillance role on the battlefield, controlled by a piloted aircraft on its own or as part of a swarm group. It can carry a small payload of bombs, and can use a conventional runway or can be launched via rocket….

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Author: Andrew Liptak