Loyal Wingman vs F-35

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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optimist

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Unread post05 May 2020, 20:24

The Artificial Intelligence, Loyal Wingman. Is this the end of the F-35? Or will this be turned into a Gripen thread?

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/05 ... bat-drone/
Boeing rolls out Australia’s first ‘Loyal Wingman’ combat drone

“This a truly historic moment for our country and for Australian defense innovation,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “The Loyal Wingman will be pivotal to exploring the critical capabilities our Air Force needs to protect our nation and its allies into the future.”


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https://www.smh.com.au/business/compani ... 510ky.html

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... e-tomorrow
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madrat

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Unread post05 May 2020, 21:41

The pic with JSTARS makes me think it represents an escort fighter. Honestly, couldn't they use something like this for policing airspace far cheaper than manned options? Surely they can make contact with bogies to provide visuals and then a human in the middle can decide what actions are appropriate.
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ricnunes

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Unread post05 May 2020, 23:42

optimist wrote:The Artificial Intelligence, Loyal Wingman. Is this the end of the F-35?


Of course not. Such drones won't replace the F-35 or any other manned aircraft for that matter.

IMO, drones will be like missiles (air-to-air, several types of air-to-ground missiles including cruise missiles, etc...) they will complement and be weapon choices for manned fighter aircraft.
Or resuming just like the panoply of several missiles types never replaced manned combat aircraft (although during the 1970's some predicted this would happen), drones won't replace the same manned combat aircraft as well.
Or putting into another perspective, it will be a nice complement to manned fighter aircraft like the F-35 or Super Hornet.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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boogieman

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Unread post06 May 2020, 01:04

madrat wrote:The pic with JSTARS makes me think it represents an escort fighter. Honestly, couldn't they use something like this for policing airspace far cheaper than manned options? Surely they can make contact with bogies to provide visuals and then a human in the middle can decide what actions are appropriate.

Yes I could see it being quite handy for escort duties with HVAA. I wonder if you could put fit them with an NGJ pod so as to provide escort jamming. Would be a good way to disrupt the use of VLRAAM like R37M and PL21 against our tankers and ISR aircraft. That said given the hugh-hush nature of this project, I could easily see the Loyal Wingmen being fitted with their own tailored EW packages to provide an even better capability for the desired mission sets.
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weasel1962

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Unread post06 May 2020, 01:49

The thing about drones is that someone needs to control it. It could be an AEW but that's risky with aggressor equipped with long ranged AAMs. It could be ground control but is that effective compared to someone nearer the battle area? It could be a fighter but does that load the pilot with too much to do? There is however a fighter that can have a guy in the back seat to do just that, unfortunately that fighter isn't the F-35.
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blindpilot

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Unread post06 May 2020, 02:12

Boeing is bit late to the game, and offering a sub performing UAV model.

Kratos already demonstrated a high performance UTAP-22 Mako, loyal wingman to a configured (SINGLE SEAT!!! ) AV-8B Harrier II, including networked TTNT, high flight performance (A2A/A2G semi autonomous capable) in the 2016 LCASD program. The Mako was then better than Boeings paper UAV drone.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcP66syzQls

Kratos has moved on to a very lethal and impressive XQ-58 Valkyrie, while not operational in numbers "yet," has flying models in the air doing some pretty impressive things.

Already available off the shelf and operationally proven with AV-8B LCASD program. Software debugged, just tell it "follow me," and "cover my a$$" or "kill that MIG right there Val!" or "you go bomb that target Val". Ready to go today. Boeing will try and match this if you give them billions of $$$, or buy a Valkyrie off the shelf for a $couple million max.

These will be ... already are ... a part of a manned fighter, loyal wingman, system of systems ... wing tip to wing tip with manned F-35's and other system resources.
Utap Valk specs.jpg
Kratos Wingmen

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PS Max speeds are normal level flight. The 22 came from a supersonic target droid and both can dive to get supersonic speeds.
Last edited by blindpilot on 06 May 2020, 02:17, edited 1 time in total.
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boogieman

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Unread post06 May 2020, 02:16

weasel1962 wrote:The thing about drones is that someone needs to control it. It could be an AEW but that's risky with aggressor equipped with long ranged AAMs. It could be ground control but is that effective compared to someone nearer the battle area? It could be a fighter but does that load the pilot with too much to do? There is however a fighter that can have a guy in the back seat to do just that, unfortunately that fighter isn't the F-35.

That's what got me thinking about simple escort jamming. All the UAS would need to do is hold a loose formation somewhere above or below the escortee while using (possibly) fairly automated jamming patterns. In the case of E7, you could have a command link between it and the UAS as you say with minimal input required from the AEW jet.
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blindpilot

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Unread post06 May 2020, 02:37

boogieman wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:The thing about drones is that someone needs to control it. ... There is however a fighter that can have a guy in the back seat to do just that,...

That's what got me thinking about simple [mission].


You guys are decades behind the state of the art with system of systems and autonomous/semi-autonomous algorithms and secure fault coding. One guy in a single seat does no more than you do with SIRI on your phone, controlling two wingmen.

It's more like "Hey SIRI, tell Val two to go bomb that target Ground six!" and SIRI replies "Ground six? are you sure ?" - "Yep do it." And then he continues playing tetris .. hmm strategic planning or whatever ... while the F-35 pretty much flies itself...

You're not in Kansas any more Toto.

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XanderCrews

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Unread post06 May 2020, 02:46

optimist wrote:Is this the end of the F-35?



definitely the end of the F-35. Its been so easy to create manned F-35s, surely a UAV thats somehow just as capable will be a piece of cake.

I expect to hear the end of the F-35 any day now. Just as I have been for 15 years
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blindpilot

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Unread post06 May 2020, 02:56

XanderCrews wrote:
optimist wrote:Is this the end of the F-35?



definitely the end of the F-35. Its been so easy to create manned F-35s, surely a UAV thats somehow just as capable will be a piece of cake.

I expect to hear the end of the F-35 any day now. Just as I have been for 15 years


There are no more "platforms" as of old. The F-35 (and Valkyrie) are no more than nodes in a system of systems web. In that regard the F-35 is probably the most powerful network node anywhere ever designed ... oh and it can fly like a fighter jet too ... and because it's a node it will not see its end for many decades. and probably .. but not necessarily, ... fly around like a fighter jet while it's doing that "stuff" 40 plus years hence.

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optimist

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Unread post06 May 2020, 03:36

I was also being sarc :mrgreen: . AI - end of f-35 or will it be a gripen thread?
It's a start for Aussie, we'll see where it goes.
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boogieman

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Unread post06 May 2020, 04:10

blindpilot wrote:You guys are decades behind the state of the art with system of systems and autonomous/semi-autonomous algorithms and secure fault coding...

...You're not in Kansas any more Toto.

MHO,
BP

But can they shoot down a flight of Su37s by needlessly bypassing BVR into a neutral merge followed by a spectacular display of super-maneuverable BFM that they just barely win?
https://youtu.be/nP-P4IYLJWY
:wink:
I have no doubt you are correct, but alas it is a slow day at work and I am low on coffee. Will be watching how this capability evolves with great enthusiasm :thumb:
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weasel1962

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Unread post06 May 2020, 05:06

well, the RAAF will operate the LW with the F-35A so that's reality. As to the merits of managing a UAV (much less a fleet of UAVs) via a pilot who has to fly, even if the plane is almost flying itself, vs a dedicated UAV pilot. Just because it can be done, doesn't mean having a dedicated pilot isn't better.

Boeing's still in Kansas btw.

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