The future of fighter jets may belong to artificial intelligence (AI). Recently, an AI agent successfully flew Lockheed Martin’s experimental VISTA X-62A for more than 17 hours, marking the first time AI was used on a tactical aircraft.
The VISTA, developed by Lockheed’s Skunk Works and Calspan Corporation, is equipped with software that allows it to simulate the performance characteristics of other aircraft.
This AI test flight could pave the way for a new generation of fighter jets that can be piloted entirely by computers.
While the future of fighter jets is still in the concept stage, the option of flying without human pilots is expected to be a significant part of it. For instance, the Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program is developing a family of jets to succeed Lockheed’s F-22 Raptor.
Several countries, including the U.K., Italy, and Japan, are also exploring the potential of AI for the future of fighter jets. They aim to develop next-gen fighters that use algorithms instead of human pilots. These planes could enter service in the mid-2030s and eventually replace fighter jets like the Typhoon.
Russia is also investing in the future of fighter jets with AI technology. The country’s Air Force is reportedly upgrading its planes with AI capabilities that could assist pilots in decision-making. Although details are limited, the system allows pairs of fighters to share information more efficiently.
Private firms are also investing in AI technology for the future of military and commercial aircraft. Shield AI, for example, has raised $60 million in venture capital funding to develop its Hivemind software, which can serve as an AI pilot for various missions. The software uses algorithms that enable aircraft teams to plan missions and maps and perform tasks such as penetrating air defense systems and dogfighting.
While some experts predict that AI could eventually replace human pilots in the future of fighter jets, others argue that there is still a long way to go before this happens. Despite this, the potential of AI in the world of fighter jets is clear, and it could transform the way we think about the future of air combat.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, fighter jets, tactical aircraft, Lockheed Martin, VISTA X-62A, Skunk Works, Calspan Corporation, NGAD, next-gen fighters, algorithms, Typhoon, Russia, Shield AI, Hivemind, aircraft, pilots, future of air combat.