The Boeing Company launched an unmanned combat jet that has been built in Australia which would cost must lesser than a normal combat jet. The unmanned jet will be flown along with the crewed aircraft.
This multi-purpose jet is 38 ft in length (11.6 meters) with a range of 3704 Kms, that’s 2000 nautical miles.
Since World War II, Australia has for the first time developed an in-house combat aircraft and Boeing’s biggest investment outside the United States for unmanned systems.
Although the US manufacturer has refused to name its potential customers, they plan to sell it to its customers globally, customizing it as per their requirements.
Foreseeing, the huge capability for its exports, the Government of Australian is infusing A$40 million ($28.75 million) in first such program of its kind.
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The arch rivals of Boeing namely KDSS (Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc) as well as Lockheed Martin Corp. have also been investing in unmanned aircraft space.
About 4 to 6 of these ‘Boeing Airpower Teaming System’ will fly with F-18.
Human performance has its own limitations like the amount of ‘G’ a pilot can pull during combat, the number of hours he can fly without getting fatigued. Also the human brain can only process a certain amount of information at any given time. An unmanned combat aircraft is therefore the best substitute to overcome the above mentioned human limitations.
Being pilotless, this aircraft also has the benefits of accepting higher levels of risk. Also, there would no loss of life even if such as aircraft is hit, which is one of the biggest benefits.
Furthermore, the new combat aircraft can be used in other roles like electronic warfare, intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The aircraft is operationally very flexible, modular and multi-mission. This is an aircraft with fighter-like capabilities and comes at a fraction of the cost.
The first flight of this newly unveiled aircraft is likely to take place in 2020.