US Air Force Skyborg autonomous drone makes its first flight

The first drone equipped with Skyborg system US Air Force Autonomy Core System made its maiden flight on April 29 at Tindal Air Force Base in Florida. For the occasion, it is the UTAP-22 drone from the Kratos company which was equipped with the Skyborg to ensure the piloting, navigation and control functions of the aircraft, without a pilot being in command of the aircraft. deported way, as is the case today for combat drones like the Predator or the Reaper. The flight, which lasted 2 hours 10 minutes, validated the main functions of the Skyborg system, namely controlling the flight of the drone and maintaining it in its flight envelope, maneuvering the aircraft, and ensuring navigation and safety. , all independently.

This is undoubtedly an important step for this US Air Force program, which aims to equip a family of potentially expendable combat drones as part of the Autonomous Attractive Aircraft Experimentation program, to accompany the F35A and F-15EX combat aircraft and ensure missions too dangerous for piloted aircraft. The objective, within a few years, is to allow a pilot to control one or more combat drones while ensuring the piloting and mission control of his own aircraft, like the programs Australian loyal wingman et British LANCA.

The prototype of the Australian Loyal Wingman program developed with Boeing made its first flight in March 2021.

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