The future of air warfare is for drones to launch more drones

On March 26, a windowless plane named Valkyrie opened the gun hatch for the first time during the landing. Then he thrown into the sky not as a bomb, but as another smaller drone, the probe flew from his aerial dock. The deployment of drones from Mothership in flight was the beginning of an era in which machines sent other machines to fight for humans.

The 28-foot-long, 22-foot-long XQ-58A Valkyrie drone is conducting its sixth test flight at the Yuma test site in Arizona. Valkyrie, who has been flying over the Sonoran Desert around Yuma since 2019, is a dark gray body that contrasts sharply with the sun-drenched sandy beach below. The small drone is a released payload of Valkyrie’s weapon module, the ALTIUS-600. However, the program suggests that drone warfare over the next decade will involve more autonomous cars working together to ensure that Air Force pilots are actually only present when they really need them.

Valkyrie is part of the Pentagon’s quest for a capable fighter drone that can increase the wings of existing manned fighter jets. Relatively it is very cheap. Valkyrie’s design, which costs about $2 million, is of course expensive, but only a fraction of the cost of illegal F-35A hunting used by the Air Force.

Meanwhile, ALTIUS is similar to a miniature predator drone, with an upside-down V tail about 3 feet long. Its wingspan, 4 feet from the fuselage in each direction, are deployed after release, and are easily thrown from a pipe, thrown from a helicopter, or, in this case, landed from the bomb compartment to fly. Like aircraft-sized predators, Alticus has a power thruster and a rotating camera.

During the flight, ALTIUS sails at 69 mph, although it may erupt at 100 mph. With cruising speeds, you can fly for more than four hours with a range of 276 miles. That is probably the distance between Boston and Philadelphia. It is mainly a rebuilding aircraft, but the camera capsule on the nose can replaced and replaced. Other shipments include electronic warfare (jammers) and kinetic energy (explosives) that turn explorers into ready-made weapons to neutralize or destroy anything that signals it.

The first area that produces Alticus also produces artificial intelligence drones that allow a person to control multiple aircraft in flight. Previously the control system allowed a helicopter passenger to control four ALTIUS drones at a time. Many of these are autonomous and very important to make drone launches work because, without them, the burden of remote driving would become a huge mental burden.

Sending Valkyries, who dispatched Artius, to the wing of the fighter jet means the U.S. Air Force, can plan more when it ships vehicles to carry out missions. They can fight in the wider sky and look for enemy aircraft or ground targets, and generally support manned aircraft to steer drones through the sky. A no-skewered aircraft like this can be a robotic companion to a residential fighter.

Valkyrie producer Kratos boasts in 2018 that the maximum drone range will be more than 3,450 miles, although recent estimates have dropped by about 1,150 miles. Setting up a couple of Artius explorers can extend the distance hundreds of miles. It could also make the force more focused, with numerous drones assembled by drones in the same spot to direct precision weapons or clear the way for other attacks.

To ensure that drones are viable in the future, both Valkyrie and Artius can replace some of their aircraft’s fuselage with new parts. This modularity ensures that new sensors, payloads and other equipment can added easily as long as the fuselage is effective.

The overall strategy is part of a broader theoretical shift that combines drones with passenger cars to fit future expectations of the air battlefields. Valkyrie is important part of Cyborg’s military combat drone program and pave the way for the future development of autonomous aircraft.

At the heart of all this is the role that software will play in coordinating the arrival of drones and humans, drones and each other, as well as all these well-designed flying robots and human networks in combat order. In order for Alticus to launch work from Valkyrie, the Air Force Research Laboratory, along with its respective drone manufacturers, has built a special aircraft carrier and custom code to make everything work together.

The deployment of drones is capable of launching drones the culmination of nearly a century of dreams of launching aircraft from other aircraft. It is much easier to launch an aircraft without having to accommodate awkward human passengers. It remains to see how the U.S. Air Force plans to turn it into war and whether drones launched with drones have an advantage over missiles launched by drones.

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