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Loyal Wingman ... a game-changer fighter jet


Loyal Wingman ... a game-changer fighter jet

The Loyal Wingman fighter jet built to operate with manned aircraft has completed its first flight test, Boeing and the RAAF announced Tuesday.

The Loyal Wingman, the first military aircraft to be designed and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years, has flown under the supervision of a Boeing test pilot observing it from a ground control station in South Australia.

The Australian government has invested A $ 40 million (US $ 31 million) in developing the product, which Boeing said could be allocated to other global customers.

The Boeing aircraft is 38 feet (11.6 meters) long and has a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3704 kilometers).

There is a front that can be removed to suit different payloads, and it can also carry weapons and act as a shield to help protect the more expensive manned combat aircraft.

Defense contractors are increasingly investing in autonomous technology as militaries around the world search for cheaper and safer ways to maximize their resources.

In January, Britain signed a £ 30m ($ 42m) contract with Spirit AeroSystems' Belfast unit for a similar type of drone to test flight in the next three years.

During the test flight in Australia, the Loyal Wingman took off its own ability before flying a previously defined route at different speeds and altitudes to verify its functionality and demonstrate design performance.

And the first Loyal Wingman prototype is being used as the basis for Boeing's Air Teaming System, a service in development for many global defense customers.

Boeing said additional Loyal Wingmans are currently under development, with plans for group flights scheduled for later this year.

The aircraft manufacturer said earlier: As many as 16 Loyal Wingmans can partner with manned aircraft for missions.