Britain launches development of its own "Loyal Wingman"

The principle of the allied drone, an autonomous device but controlled by a piloted combat aircraft with which it would act in concert, seems to have imposed itself in the majority of the major aeronautical nations in a few years. In the United States, this is the Skyborg program, and in particular the XQ-48 Valkyrie drone. In Europe, this is the “Remote Carrier” program, belonging to the SCAF program bringing together Germany, Spain and France. In Australia, this is the “Loyal Wingman” program, designed in cooperation with Boeing. Even Russia, despite the Okhotnik-B program, announced the development of its own program of this type. In all cases, it is a fast drone, capable of accompanying combat aircraft, carrying detection effectors or weaponry, and cheap enough for their destruction to be "sustainable" in a conflict. long term.

Great Britain will not be left out in this technological race. Indeed, besides the Tempest program which took a lot of thickness in recent months, the Royal Air Force Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston has announced that a £ 30million contract has just been awarded to the northern Irish company Spirit Aerosystem for design a “Loyal Wingman” type demonstrator designated Mosquito in the next 3 years, as part of the LANCA program for Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft. The objective of the Royal Air Force is to have at the end of the decade the Mosquito drone to accompany its F35 and its Typhoon in disputed territory. As is now always the case across the Channel, the program is accompanied by a social commitment, in this case the creation and preservation of 100 direct jobs in Northern Ireland.

The Skyborg program of the US Air Force is ambitious and must be able to accompany the F35 as well as the F16 and F15EX.

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