Lockheed Martin Skunk Works demos autonomous reconnaissance pod | World Defense

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works demos autonomous reconnaissance pod

BATMAN

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Lockheed Martin Skunk Works demos autonomous reconnaissance pod
10 May 2020
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Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs, known as Skunk Works, has demonstrated an artificial intelligence-powered intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) pod autonomously searching out and confirming a target.

The demonstration was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California using an ISR pod mounted on a Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter, says the company on 8 May. The demonstration was conducted in Air Force Test Pilot School.

The pod was able “to detect and identify the location of the target, automatically route to the target, and capture an image to confirm the target in a simulated, denied-communications environment,” says Lockheed Martin.

The company does not disclose other details, such as how communications were denied, though typically that means radio jamming. Without radio communications remote pilots would be unable to direct unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) or review image data gathered.

“As the battlespace becomes increasingly contested, human-machine teams will enable operators to collect critical intelligence in denied communications environments, ensuring our warfighters get information they need when they need it,” says George Hellstern, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works programme manager for artificial intelligence solutions.

Lockheed Martin manufacturers a variety of ISR pods for fighter aircraft, including the F-16-qualified Sniper pod, which can be used for air-to-ground and air-to-air targeting.

Using artificial intelligence to conduct an ISR mission could allow a UAV to push deeper into enemy airspace where communications could be limited. It could also let aircraft operate in radio silence, making them harder to detect.

Artificial intelligence-directed missions are of interest to the US Air Force. It is looking to develop software to autonomously direct loyal wingman UAVs via its Skyborg programme.

The service wants to ease fighter pilots’ ability to dispatch and direct loyal wingman. The UAVs would serve as a force multiplier for manned aircraft, autonomously gathering reconnaissance information or carrying out combat missions.
 

BATMAN

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Air battle, which took place on 27th February among India and Pakistan, had lead to various new air defense equipment being worked upon, focused more on counter electronic warfare techniques and equipment. This is one such development.
There had been ECM drones being worked upon, fighter drones being worked upon.

World air-forces would be changing their air war strategies for future.
 

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