F-35s Flying Drone Fleets - Pawlikowski USAF Offset Strategy

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eskodas

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Unread post28 Jan 2015, 18:32

But if we evaluate the contribution of the drone not in isolation, but rather as part of a system-of-systems for air dominance, its utility becomes clearer. Stealthy F-35s operate in contested environments, identifying and tracking targets, with the UAVs supplying the missiles that the JSFs can’t carry on their own. Even the payload challenged F-35B can contribute in this context; having as many F-35s in the air as possible increases the clarity of the picture offered to pilots and commanders.

Indeed, this is precisely the type of aerial warfare that the developers of the F-35 envisioned. Although this vision has been part of the Joint Strike Fighter program for some time, it has not, for whatever reason, been articulated clearly to the public. Our public conversation still struggles to conceptualize specific weapons as part of a larger system, rather than with respect to their individual characteristics. This hardly means that programs such as the F-35 or the UCLASS should be above criticism, but it does suggest ways to add nuance to the critique.

It’s not a stretch to argue that the F-35C and the UCLASS UAV will structure American naval aviation for the foreseeable future. These reports give us a better indication of how the capabilities can be expected to work together, and help illuminate the utility of both programs.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/01/uavs-and ... air-power/


I've also made an addition to the upgrades section of my blog with the idea of an F-35 controlling a swarm RPA missile trucks, this is the future.
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Unread post28 Jan 2015, 19:17

Keep in mind that RPA means Remotely "Piloted" Aircraft.

The F-35 pilot will not be "controlling" the RPA, only providing (automatically) sensor feeds, assigning targets, and coordinating the overall plan. This is a function that the F-35 pilot can do "now" with current software and other F-35s.
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Unread post28 Jan 2015, 19:27

It’s important to note that the F-35 would not actually be flying the drones, the drones would be doing that autonomously, instead it would be commanding them, telling them what formation to fly and what to attack, similar to a Squad Leader.

Yup, I made sure to make special note of that.
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Unread post31 Mar 2015, 05:45

MORE DARPA CODE Acronyms for the Use Of: [SHADES of GREENert] :mrgreen: (When are they going to use "Keyser Söze" acronyms ['The Usual Suspects' Film] Tech?) :devil: http://www.methodshop.com/2014/07/top-1 ... otes.shtml
DARPA Uses Open Systems, ‘Plug and Fly’ to Boost Air Power
30 Mar 2015 Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

"WASHINGTON, March 30, 2015 – The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is unveiling a new program to boost U.S. air superiority by separating payloads such as weapons and sensors from the main air platform, and using open-system architectures to seamlessly integrate plug-and-fly modules into any kind of platform.

The program, called System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation, or SoSITE, aims to develop and demonstrate concepts for flying combinations of aircraft, weapons, sensors and mission systems that distribute air-warfare capabilities across interoperable manned and unmanned platforms.

The DARPA vision is to integrate new technologies and airborne systems with existing systems faster and at a lower cost than advanced adversaries can counter them, Dr. Nils Sandell Jr., director of DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, told DoD News in a recent interview....

...System of Systems
“A system-of-systems approach could help overcome [the] inherent issue with high-cost, monolithic, multifunction platforms,” Sandell said.

Distributed air-warfare platforms have other advantages, he added.

“What we would like to enable is a future scenario in which a smaller number of manned aircraft would combine with unmanned aircraft to do [a] total job,” the director said. “They would be networked together … and the unmanned aircraft could venture into the more dangerous territory, providing some degree of risk avoidance for the pilots.”

The unmanned platforms would be simpler and could do individual jobs like carry weapons, electronic warfare systems or sensors –- the last allowing the manned aircraft to be silent and harder to detect, he said.

Distributed Air Warfare
“The fundamental idea is to take platforms that today are manned, monolithic and expensive, and distribute the capability over a much more heterogeneous set of platforms to perform similar functions,” Sandell said.

In such a configuration, the pilot becomes a battle manager, deciding what the small aircraft should be doing and how to orchestrate it, Sandell said, and DARPA has a suite of programs whose automation is designed to help pilots with the task.

“We’ve recently come out with [a program] called Distributed Battle Management, and that's exactly to provide the automation and decision aids to enable a pilot to be able to fly his jet and do these future tasks,” the director said.

It’s also important that the pilot is the decision maker, he added....

...Communications in Contested Environments...
...DARPA’s vision is that the combination of robust communications and automation will be sufficient to allow the pilot to do those tasks, he added.

Sandell said he wants to be clear that DARPA is not trying to replace air platforms like the F-35 or the F-22, but rather to augment their capabilities....

...Open-architecture Approaches...

...SoSITE Program Phases...

...Robustness Against Cyberattack...

...Looking to the Future...
...Looking to the future, Sandell said that monolithic but sophisticated platforms like the F-35 probably will continue to have very high value.

“I think they will be part of a family of systems or of a system of systems and not single silver-bullet solutions by themselves,” the director said. “In particular, we think that any of the future platforms would be designed in much more of an open-architecture fashion, so although the platform may last for a long time and take a while to develop, the electronics in it can be upgraded much more rapidly.”

He said he thinks, in a sense, "the F-35 is the last of a kind. I don't think we'll develop anything that tightly integrated in the future.”
"This graphic illustrates the main idea behind DARPA’s System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation, or SoSITE, program. SoSITE aims to develop and demonstrate concepts for maintaining air superiority through novel system-of-systems architectures -- combinations of aircraft, weapons, sensors and mission systems -- that distribute air warfare capabilities across a large number of interoperable manned and unmanned platforms. The vision is to integrate new technologies and airborne systems with existing systems faster and at lower cost than near-peer adversaries can counter them. DARPA graphic"
Pic: http://www.defense.gov/DODCMSShare/News ... 9-5678.jpg


Source: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128493
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Unread post01 Apr 2015, 03:43

Operating in Contested Environments
30 Mar 2015

"DARPA embarks on an agile “system-of-systems” technology approach to help enable U.S. power projection capabilities in highly contested environments.... [MUCH MORE AT THE JUMP but first WATCH THE MOVIE]

Source: http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Release ... 03/30.aspx

New Concept for Air Warfare
Published on Mar 31, 2015 DARPAtv

"DARPA's System of Systems (SoS) Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE) program aims to develop and demonstrate concepts for maintaining air superiority through novel SoS architectures--combinations of aircraft, weapons, sensors and mission systems--that distribute air warfare capabilities across a large number of interoperable manned and unmanned platforms.

The vision is to integrate new technologies and airborne systems with existing systems more quickly and at lower cost than near-peer adversaries can counter them.

SoSITE is being developed by DARPA's Strategic Technology Office."


RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Corsair1963

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Unread post01 Apr 2015, 07:05

WOW Talk about a force multiplier........ :devil:
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Unread post01 Apr 2015, 07:58

Its a good idea. The biggest difficulty I can see is how to manage the cost of the drones. It does not make sense to use $40m predators or $200m global hawk systems. What is needed are more stealthy sub-$10m mission trucks. This will be critical because potential aggressors aren't constrained by datalink technologies i.e. not that complicated and could have significant cost advantages producing cheaper drones. Secure datalinks will be a vital critical tech i.e. cyberwarfare units to hack into the datalinks. Its an advantge to satcoms-guided UAVs i.e. instead of drones being fed data from sats, the data from the F-35s (closer & more secure links). The aggressor needs to take down the F-35s which are far more numerous than sats and possibly more difficult to take down.
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Unread post01 Apr 2015, 08:01

Hmm... I can see how the Flying Mothership concept able to recover different flavors of UAS is appealing.
Curious to see how the AF and Navy 6Gen bring added value.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post01 Apr 2015, 10:59

weasel1962 wrote:.. What is needed are more stealthy sub-$10m mission trucks. This will be critical because potential aggressors aren't constrained by datalink technologies i.e. not that complicated and could have significant cost advantages producing cheaper drones. ...


...drones are unmanned stealth (LO) ordinance wagons with communication node capability and sensors suites equal to the JSF. By allowing one drone to be active with radar sweeps, it can be detected by the adversary but can share data with the flight, while other drones will remain passive until weapons release.

....mules are manned legacy a/c with full ordinance loads and same scenario as drones.

...all are controlled by a stealth, sensor passive JSF, E-2D, AWACS, ship, etc.

:wink:
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Unread post01 Apr 2015, 11:19

Also curious how the flying drone fleet copes with Red Air threat. Perhaps some UAS AMRAAM mules? 5Gen and eventually 6Gen jets of course.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post21 May 2015, 19:35

Air Force’s New Unmanned Strategy Has F-35 Pilots Flying Drones

http://defensetech.org/2015/05/20/air-forces-new-unmanned-strategy-has-f-35-pilots-flying-drones/



An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilot will one day control a small fleet of nearby drones from the cockpit while in flight — according to a new Air Force report on autonomous systems, Air Force Chief Scientist Mica Endsley said.
The Air Force is poised to unveil a new strategy for unmanned aircraft systems next month. The report will discuss more teaming with manned aircraft such as the F-35, greater levels of automation and a wider scope of missions for UAS — such as transporting cargo.
“We see unmanned vehicles being used for a much wider variety of missions,” Endsley said in an interview with Military​.com. “Today they are primarily used for ISR, long duration missions where we want to collect information. In the future, they will be moving cargo and more manned-unmanned teaming where they are acting as extensions of a manned aircraft.”
The new Air Force report, called “Autonomous Horizons,” will highlight plans to improve sensors, develop new algorithms and introduce new unmanned platforms.
The Air Force currently flies MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-4 Global Hawk drones remotely using pilots to navigate from a ground control station. The new strategy calls for additional unmanned platforms and also explains that existing UAS will be increasingly engineered to perform a wider range of functions without needing human intervention – such as data analysis.
“They are going to be smarter in terms of algorithms to handle things like mission planning and collecting data and analyzing that data to take the load off of the human component of a system,” Endsley added.
Endsley said the Air Force will likely begin developing the C-17 cargo planes for unmanned missions, allowing the aircraft to reach high-risk forward locations with supplies, weapons and ammunition.
Manned-unmanned teaming wherein manned aircraft control the flight path and sensor payload of a nearby UAS while in flight is emphasized in the report as critical to the Air Forces’ future plans.
For instance, an Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter might have several UAS assigned to it to perform a variety of missions from ISR to off-board weapons delivery in dangerous or hard to reach areas, Endsley explained.
“We are setting up the ability for an aircraft to take high-level command of UAS. Those unmanned aircraft will have to be capable of flying in concert in a safe manner. They will need to be capable of taking high level commands and be able to execute those effectively,” she added.
The Army has advanced manned-unmanned teaming technology in its helicopter fleet –successfully engineering Apache and Kiowa air crews to control UAS flight paths and sensor payloads from the air in the cockpit.
Senior Air Force leaders have said that the services’ new next-generation bomber program, Long Range Strike Bomber or LRS-B, will be engineered to fly manned and unmanned missions.
Also, in September of 2013, the Air Force and Boeing flew an unmanned F-16 Falcon at supersonic speeds for the first time at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The unmanned fighter was able to launch, maneuver and return to base without a pilot.
Despite these developments, Endsley emphasized that software algorithms have not yet progressed to the point such that a remotely flown fighter jet can maneuver and react to fast-changing dynamics in a combat environment anywhere near as effectively as a manned jet.
There is often a two-second long lag time before a UAS in the air can respond to or implement directions from a remote pilot in a ground station, a circumstance which underscores the need for manned pilots when it comes to fighter jets, she said.
“One of the reasons you would go to an unmanned technology is to be able to go into more dangerous areas than you want to send humans or to fly longer duration missions. You have to weigh what the right kinds of things to fly unmanned are. Not every mission should be done unmanned. There is a long time lag with remote control. Those time lags can be very difficult for rapid response flight dynamics,” Endsley said.
As a result, Endsley explained that the Air Force is much more likely to use autonomy for ISR and cargo missions as opposed to fighter aircraft missions.
“I don’t think that fighter aircraft are a good target for that kind of autonomy,” she said.
While computer processing speed and algorithms continue to evolve at an alarming pace, it still remains difficult to engineer a machine able to instantly respond to other moving objects or emerging circumstances, Endsley argued.
“I don’t believe we will see fully autonomous systems overnight. We are going to see a slow evolution in that direction as we add autonomy to different functions in the cockpit for different functions in the analysis process or in the cyber arena. We want to be sure that we have effective human-autonomy teaming so that people are still going to be able to do their jobs – automation can increase workload if it is not easy to use,” Endsley said.
In contrast to the Air Force’s apparent position that growth in unmanned technology is not expected to replace pilots of fighter aircraft anytime soon, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recently said the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will likely be the last manned strike fighter ever bought by the Navy.
However, Endsley and other experts in autonomous navigation technology made the point that it is very difficult to engineer a machine able to quickly react to unanticipated circumstances.
“Trying to teach a computer to have the same kinds of perceptual capabilities that people have is very difficult. They have gotten better at object recognition but understanding the context in which that object is operating could be difficult,” she said.
For example, an aircraft might succeed in being programmed to locate a specific target but might lack to ability to properly interpret the surrounding context and civilian casualties, Endsley explained.
Also, when it comes to the potential use of lethal force, an existing DoD policy directive requires that a human always be in the loop – regardless of how quickly autonomy develops.
“You can have a lot of variability in situations and it is very hard to program systems to handle every situation. People, on the other hand, are much more able to deal with novel or unforeseen circumstances,” she said.
One analyst agreed with Endsley.
“You need humans for situational awareness,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group, a Virginia-based consultancy.
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Unread post21 May 2015, 23:27

basher54321 wrote:Air Force’s New Unmanned Strategy Has F-35 Pilots Flying Drones
An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilot will one day control a small fleet of nearby drones from the cockpit while in flight — according to a new Air Force report on autonomous systems, Air Force Chief Scientist Mica Endsley said.
The Air Force is poised to unveil a new strategy for unmanned aircraft systems next month. The report will discuss more teaming with manned aircraft such as the F-35, greater levels of automation and a wider scope of missions for UAS — such as transporting cargo
....
One analyst agreed with Endsley.
“You need humans for situational awareness,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group, a Virginia-based consultancy.

Dr. Mica Endsley is highly experienced researcher when it comes to cockpit automation. I'm not sure how much is public, but the work of Dr. Endsley significantly shaped development of several UAV/UCAV programs.


Another interesting documentary to watch is "Rise of the drones"

Dr. Missy Cummings features prominently in this one, and is a former F/A-18 pilot.
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Unread post21 May 2015, 23:47

RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post22 May 2015, 02:55

Congress likes to think it knows more than the experts.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post22 May 2015, 04:23

sounds like a bunch of nerds from academia proposing another program to fund their graduate degrees.......with several levels of separation of course. This has potentially the most limited applicability of any weapon system I have heard of in a long time. But possibly a fantastic waste of American taxpayer dollars to buy ramen for some troll at Johns Hopkins, MIT, or the like who will never be closer than 7000 miles from an actual war.
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