Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

X-47B Autonomous USN Tactical Aircraft

I keep watching the testing of the X-47B (UCAS) autonomous tactical USN aircraft and get more and more impressed with it. An autonomous fighter like it will have to operate with in-cockpit piloted aircraft in deck, traffic pattern, cruise and ground/air attack situations so the software complexity is way off of the scale.

The following article on recent testing also includes a youtube link to show it and is worth watching just from the perspective of being cool and the implications for the future of military air operations. Eventually, you will not want this aircraft looking for you because it will find you, will outfly you and is not endurance or performance limited by a bag of protoplasm (you) in it.

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=10095032

The youtube link in the article is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqiOzO8yV4A&feature=youtu.be

Because of work like this I am continually less inclined to think that we should investing vast amounts of money in in-seat piloted military aircraft such as bombers, tankers and fighters. While they may be fun to fly they are going to be as outdated as buggies next to things like the X-47B.

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