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Patches and Stickers for sale here

No. 8774 ID: a8a5cc
  >The US Navy has completed the first ever catapult launch of the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) aircraft at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, earlier today. Apparently it went very well, the Navy sent over this video of the launch earlier this evening.

>The catapult shot is a crucial step towards the jet's initial sea-trials, which are expected next year (the X-47B that's on Truman right now is merely doing deck-handling exercises). The sea-trials will involve catapult launches, arrested recoveries and having the X-47B fly the pattern around the "boat" while coordinating with carrier's air traffic controllers. The idea behind the UCAS-D is to prove that an autonomous unmanned aircraft can safely operate at sea onboard a carrier.

>If the X-47B fails, the prospects for the follow-on Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft program would dim markedly. The Navy is counting on the X-47B to pave the way for that program.


Pretty fucking cool.
41 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 13826 ID: 263d6c
File 137851406591.jpg - (193.47KB , 1024x682 , US UAV X-47B wings folded 1.jpg )
>> No. 14179 ID: 263d6c
File 138039771280.jpg - (427.06KB , 3000x2095 , US UAV X-47B moved w arm-mounted controller on USS.jpg )
ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 14, 2013) Dave Lorenz, a deck operator for Northrop Grumman, acknowledges that he has control of an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator as he moves it via an arm-mounted controller on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is scheduled to be the first aircraft carrier to catapult launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck.
>> No. 14180 ID: 263d6c
File 138039787037.jpg - (593.23KB , 4000x2667 , US UAV X-47B loaded onto an aircraft elevator (CVN.jpg )
ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 14, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator is loaded onto an aircraft elevator aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is scheduled to be the first aircraft carrier to catapult launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck.
>> No. 15674 ID: 263d6c
File 139234936064.jpg - (2.66MB , 6790x4531 , US UAV X-47B lands on USS George H_W_ Bush (CVN-77.jpg )
ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 10, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The landing marks the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed an arrested landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. http://www.doncio.navy.mil/chips/ArticleDetails.aspx?ID=4808
>> No. 15675 ID: 263d6c
File 139234941770.jpg - (4.07MB , 4256x2832 , US UAV X-47B lands on USS George H_W_ Bush (CVN-77.jpg )
>> No. 16071 ID: 00a13e
File 13946384474.jpg - (838.21KB , 4368x2912 , US UAV Avenger (Predator C) unmanned combat air ve.jpg )
More of the US Avenger (Predator C) unmanned combat air vehicle.
>> No. 16072 ID: 00a13e
File 139463852826.jpg - (2.21MB , 2400x1600 , US UAV Avenger (Predator C) unmanned combat air ve.jpg )
>> No. 16073 ID: 00a13e
File 139463880675.jpg - (615.84KB , 2550x2432 , US UAV Avenger Navy version F-35 optics 1.jpg )
General Atomics Introduces Sea Avenger AUV for Carriers

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems on Monday introduced the Sea Avenger, an unmanned aircraft designed for deployment on U.S. aircraft carriers. The Sea Avenger is a derivative of the company’s Predator C Avenger. The company said the aircraft fulfills the Navy’s need for an unmanned, carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike system.

Like Predator C Avenger, Sea Avenger presents a low-risk, high technology ready procurement option, the company said.

General Atomics said it designed specific features into its Predator C Avenger to facilitate subsequent development of an aircraft uniquely suitable for carrier operations that would also integrate seamlessly into the carrier air wing. “These include a highly fuel-efficient engine and inlet design, retractable electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, internal weapons bay, and folding wings. The aircraft’s structure was also designed with the flexibility to accommodate carrier suitable landing gear, tail hook, drag devices and other provisions for carrier operations.

“Sea Avenger is an affordable and transformational technology that will provide commanders with enhanced situational awareness and time-sensitive strike,” noted J. Neal Blue, chairman and CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

The Sea Avenger has a 44-foot long fuselage and 66-foot wingspan and can operate up to 50,000 feet. http://www.sandiegometro.com/2010/05/daily-business-report-%E2%80%94-may-4-2010/

- This illustration has the Avenger with the F-35 JSF's golden belly sensor array.
>> No. 16107 ID: b338a2
I like this

The best of UCAVs
>> No. 16163 ID: 00a13e
File 13956025426.jpg - (1.84MB , 5107x3120 , US UAV X-47B wireless, handheld remote for deck op.jpg )
Northrop Grumman test pilots Dave Lorenz (right) and Bruce McFadden prepare to taxi the Navy X-47B drone to be launched off the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush off the coast of Virginia on May 14, 2013. http://p.washingtontimes.com/multimedia/image/ap645881572237jpg/
>> No. 16174 ID: b338a2
File 139571096418.jpg - (250.45KB , 1600x1105 , Predator+C+Avenger+and+compatible+ordinance+are+pl.jpg )
I remember being impressed with its range and how much sheer firepower it carries
>> No. 16744 ID: 2ae388
File 140365369065.jpg - (215.15KB , 2200x697 , US UAV drone control 1.jpg )
How drones are controlled
By Alberto Cuadra and Craig Whitlock, Published June 20, 2014
Seven models of military drones are involved in the great majority of crashes. The loss of a link between the drone and the ground-control station is a prevalent cause of catastrophic failure. Most drones can operate autonomously for a large amount of time, but if contact is not recovered they will crash after spending their fuel.

Pilots rely on satellites to track drones-
From takeoff until it leaves the line of sight, the drone is controlled with a direct data link from a ground-control station.

If the communication link is lost, the drone is programmed to fly autonomously in circles, or return to base, until the link can be reconnected.

When the drone leaves the line of sight, the ground-control station switches to a satellite link to control the aircraft. The drone also uses GPS to relay its position.
>> No. 16745 ID: 2ae388
File 140365375367.jpg - (35.12KB , 610x597 , US UAV drone MQ-1 Predator 1.jpg )
MQ-1 Predator
First flown in 1994, it later became the first weaponized drone. Designed to conduct surveillance with powerful cameras and sensors, it can be armed with laser-guided Hellfire missiles. It often stays aloft on missions for more than 20 hours at a time and can reach an altitude of 25,000 feet.
>> No. 16746 ID: 2ae388
File 140365382939.jpg - (37.62KB , 610x597 , US UAV drone MQ-9 Reaper aka Predator B 1.jpg )
MQ-9 Reaper
The bigger, faster and more reliable successor to the Predator. It can fly as high as 50,000 feet and carry four Hellfire missiles, twice as many as the Predator. The Air Force expects to replace all its Predators with Reapers by 2018. The civilian version of the MQ-9 is called the Predator B.
>> No. 16747 ID: 2ae388
File 14036538763.jpg - (33.24KB , 610x597 , US UAV drone MQ-5 Hunter 1.jpg )
MQ-5 Hunter
Originally developed in the 1990s, the Hunter features an unusual twin tail-boom design and is powered by two engines. Upgraded versions can carry Viper Strike munitions and climb to a ceiling of 20,000 feet.
>> No. 16748 ID: 2ae388
File 140365392761.jpg - (34.13KB , 610x597 , US UAV drone MQ-1C Gray Eagle 1.jpg )
MQ-1C Gray Eagle
The Army’s upgraded version of the Predator system, and the successor to the Army’s MQ-1 Warrior. It can carry four Hellfire missiles and stay aloft as long as 25 hours. Predecessor versions were the Warrior and I-Gnat.
>> No. 16749 ID: 2ae388
File 140365398374.jpg - (33.80KB , 610x591 , US UAV drone QF-4 Phantom 1.jpg )
QF-4 Phantom
Old F-4 fighter jets that have been modified and retrofitted into a drone for target practice. The remotely controlled aircraft is used as a target for missiles fired by other aircraft and to evaluate the effectiveness of various weapons systems.
>> No. 16750 ID: 2ae388
File 14036540166.jpg - (33.56KB , 610x591 , US UAV drone RQ-4 Global Hawk 1.jpg )
RQ-4 Global Hawk
A high-altitude, reconnaissance aircraft that conducts missions as the U-2 spy plane. It can reach a ceiling of 60,000 feet and has a range of nearly 9,000 nautical miles. Its wingspan is comparable in size to a Boeing 757’s.
>> No. 16751 ID: 2ae388
File 140365407434.jpg - (31.74KB , 610x591 , US UAV drone MQ-8 Fire Scout helicopter 1.jpg )
MQ-8 Fire Scout
A helicopter drone operated by the Navy, usually in support of Special Operations forces. It is designed to take off and land from ships at sea, but also has been deployed to Afghanistan. It can climb to a ceiling of 20,000 feet and has a range of about 110 miles.
>> No. 16752 ID: 2ae388
File 140365440398.png - (555.37KB , 1583x1926 , US UAV drone How drones are controlled Washington .png )
Screenshot of the little article:
How drones are controlled - Washington Post
>> No. 18604 ID: 3a8d09
File 142941033457.png - (203.16KB , 636x418 , q48va6xrvrmjj82cjouu.png )
The Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle demonstrator has added yet another huge feat to its long list of incredible accomplishments, which includes operating from an aircraft carrier. This time, it has demonstrated autonomous aerial refueling, plugging into a aerial refueling basket behind an Omega Air KC-707.

Originally, the X-47B was not going to be funded for a aerial refueling demonstration, but money was apparently applied to this highly relevant test set which will last through the weekend, depending on weather. The goal is to not just have the X-47B make prolonged contact with the tanker, but actually complete a full aerial refueling as well.

This aerial refueling demonstration is also slated to be the final test of the historic X-47B, although, considering that the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program keeps getting pushed back, it could be wise to keep the X-47B in service for future tests. As of now, both X-47Bs will be donated to museums even though only 20% of their flight hours have been used up.

In the past, Calspan’s Learjet unmanned aircraft surrogate testbed was used for testing the same systems that were used on the X-47B for this test, which include both differential GPS and and optical and laser ranging systems. You can learn all about this technology and others, and how it could massively impact the future of air combat here:

>> No. 18605 ID: cc3780
File 142947770582.png - (314.59KB , 1024x750 , Unmanned-U2[1].png )
has the unmanned U-2 concept gone any further.

>> No. 18765 ID: 963c4b
File 143436001168.jpg - (537.55KB , 3000x1695 , UK UAV BAE Systems Taranis UCAV 1.jpg )
Taranis Stealth Drone Goes 'Invisible' During Tests
The Huffington Post UK 15/07/2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/07/15/taranis-stealth-drone-invisible_n_5587454.html
BAE has in its possession one of the single coolest and most terrifying pieces of advanced military hardware in the world: the Taranis stealth drone.

As if that wasn't enough, BAE has just announced that it successfully engaged Taranis in stealth flight allowing it to become utterly undetectable.

Taranis is named, rather appropriately, after the Celtic god of thunder, and honestly, it fits.

This fighter-sized flying Batarang could not look any meaner if it stole your lunch, then cut you up on a motorway whilst also remaining completely invisible to modern radar.

Taranis uses a highly secretive communication technology that allows the pilot to stay in communication with the drone without ever giving away its position.

Costing £185m Taranis will be a testbed for the future of UK unmanned fighter jets, it's capable of not only carrying out surveillance but also engaging in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface combat as well.

Conrad Banks, Rolls-Royce Chief Engineer on the Taranis project added: “Successful propulsion integration was another key highlight of the second trial phase, with the fully embedded and ‘hidden’ Adour Mk951 engine operating flawlessly coupled with the highly complex and stealthy exhaust system.”
>> No. 18766 ID: 963c4b
File 143436024152.jpg - (483.76KB , 2000x1000 , UK UAV BAE Systems Taranis UCAV with Eurofighter T.jpg )
BAE Systems – Taranis UCAV with Eurofighter Typhoon

Mean looking? Hardly. An SR-71 is mean looking. A Su-35 is mean looking. This is a flying Doritos tortilla chip, like the other stealth drones.
>> No. 18767 ID: 963c4b
File 143436074588.jpg - (200.73KB , 2000x1360 , UK UAV BAE Systems Taranis UCAV 2.jpg )
>> No. 18768 ID: 963c4b
File 143436079837.jpg - (391.74KB , 2000x1163 , UK UAV BAE Systems Taranis UCAV 3.jpg )
>> No. 18769 ID: 963c4b
File 143436080933.jpg - (797.14KB , 4000x2260 , UK UAV BAE Systems Taranis UCAV 4.jpg )
>> No. 18770 ID: 963c4b
File 143436086364.jpg - (310.44KB , 2000x1000 , UK UAV BAE Systems Taranis UCAV 5.jpg )
>> No. 18771 ID: 963c4b
File 143436116695.jpg - (1.22MB , 3720x2480 , French Dassault nEUROn experimental Unmanned Comba.jpg )
French Dassault nEUROn experimental Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).
>> No. 18772 ID: 963c4b
File 143436120172.jpg - (414.20KB , 2000x1000 , French Dassault nEUROn experimental Unmanned Comba.jpg )
>> No. 18779 ID: 381ee6
Another nail in the coffin for F-35
>> No. 19109 ID: 963c4b
  5 weapons that don’t need a human to pull the trigger
At this point, no government or military has deployed a fully autonomous weapon system — yet. But so much of the world’s defense systems are already partially automated, using a mixture of human and computerized calculations to identify and fire at objects. Many weapons are considered semi-autonomous, and could function by themselves with just the flick of a switch.

Samsung SGR-A1 - Yes, the same Samsung that makes TVs and smartphones, also makes robot military sentries. Samsung Techwin, a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Samsung Group, manufactures the Samsung SGR-A1, a surveillance system that substitutes human security guards at the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, between North and South Korea. According to the South Korean government, the SGR-A1 can detect targets up to two miles away with heat and motion sensors and has the ability to shoot at objects that do not respond to a verbal warning. The robot is manned by humans but can be switched to automatic mode. Akerson points out that the DMZ also has landmines, which indiscriminately target whoever steps on them. “One argument in favor of autonomous weapons is that if a robot occupies the same function as landmines … [the robot] would at least be able to be fully removed, unlike landmines.” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/5-weapons-that-dont-need-a-human-to-pull-the-trigger/

South Korea Intelligent Surveillance and Guard Robot Demo Video https://youtu.be/pMkV8E2re9U
>> No. 19110 ID: 963c4b
File 143904404389.jpg - (152.78KB , 1530x1000 , South Korean UGV Samsung Techwin SGR-A1 sentry rob.jpg )
Samsung Techwin SGR-A1 Sentry Guard Robot
In September 2006 it was reported that the ROK had developed a Robot Military Sentry. South Korean companies developed a sentry robot that can support troops along the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas and guard key military installations. The robot, developed by a group of firms led by Samsung Techwin Co., has the ability to detect, give warning and provide suppressive fire against intruders, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said. "The robot can stand guard continuously and could help cope with an expected decrease in military manpower in the coming years," said Lee Jae-hoon, head of the ministry's industrial policy office.

Unlike the border between the United States and Mexico or even that separating Israel from the territories, the 250 kilometer demilitarized zone between South and North Korea is patrolled along its entire length. On the ROK side, there is one guard post every 50 meters, two guards per post, and twelve shifts per day. With about 5,000 guard posts, in theory there are 120,000 man-years spent on guard duty each year.

The South Koreans have a series of defensive lines that cross the entire peninsula, but with the exception of the South Barrier Fence, they aren't connected completely across the peninsula. They are designed to withstand an attack and allow a minimum force to hold a line while reinforcement/counter attack forces are assembled and sent to destroy any penetrations. The Korea Barrier System (KBS) consists of tactical obstacles to support the defense of the Republic of Korea. It is an extensive, in depth, and integrated series of obstacles and barriers, including minefields, concertina wire, and dragon's teeth. The overwhelming majority of mine fields are in the General Outpost Line (GOPL) and the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) areas, which are not accessible to noncombatants.
>> No. 19111 ID: 963c4b
File 143904482742.jpg - (28.47KB , 880x495 , South Korean UGV Samsung Techwin SGR-A1 sentry rob.jpg )
...The system uses its voice recognition to identify approaching persons. If the intruder is unable to provide the necessary access code when at a distance of ten meters, the Samsung SGR-A1 can either sound an alarm, fire rubber bullets or make use of its Daewoo K3 5,56mm machine gun.

For use on the DMZ, the sentry bot doesn't need to distinguish friend from foe. When someone crosses the line, they are automatically an enemy. The robot can verbally command an enemy to surrender. It can understand the soldier's arms held high to indicate surrender, and then not fire. Normally the ultimate decision about shooting would be made by a human, not the robot. But the robot does have an automatic mode, in which it can make the decision.

The SGR-A1 "robot" is really more of a Remotely-operated Weapons System (RWS), like Recon/Optical's CROWS, Kongsberg's Protector, Thales' SWARM, BAE's LEMUR, and larger versions like RAFAEL's RCWS-30 and Elbit's ORCWS -- all of which are mounted on crew-served vehicles. The SGR-A1 is a stationary system, enabling its designers to ignore the power, communications, and traction issues which tend to plague its mobile counterparts. Samsung boasts that its Intelligent Surveillance and Security Guard Robot never gets fatigued and are unaffected by severe weather, so "the perfect guarding operation is guaranteed."

The government began the three-year project in December 2003 at an investment of 9.8 billion won (US$1.03 billion). The Intelligent Surveillance and Guard Robot was developed by a group of four institutions lead by Samsung Techwin Co. and Korea University over three years at a cost of some $10 million in government and private funds. The South Korean government was considering plans to buy 1000 of these robots. The price tag was estimated at the US $80,000 to $200,000 range. Early in 2006, the company produced two prototypes of a model intended for civilian use, mainly in border security, with testing completed in October 2006.

In May 2008 the military was reviewing whether or not to implement the establishment of an unmanned electronic border security system. The move came as a year-long pilot run had shown that the systems were "unfit for combat."
>> No. 19112 ID: 963c4b
File 143904510428.jpg - (569.99KB , 2006x1504 , Israeli Iron Dome by Rafael Advanced Defense Syste.jpg )
Iron Dome is a border system used as part of Israel’s defense system (with financial support from the United States) to create a type of “protective bubble” that destroys rockets before they hit populated areas. Like the Phalanx system, Iron Dome makes up for the loss of time that humans require to analyze data and decide whether to shoot an incoming object. Instead, the weapon’s computers make that decision based on an algorithm programmed into it by humans. Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow for Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says there’s at least one good thing about a computer making these decisions. “They always follow the criteria set for them, unlike a human which may not due to fear, biases, lack of sleep, etc.” While Iron Dome doesn’t require human intervention, manual operation can be activated if needed. Iron Dome drew significant attention in spring 2014 when photos circulating online of the latest fighting between Israel and Hamas showed disproportionate destruction on the Palestinian side as compared to Israel. According to Israeli officials, Iron Dome had a 90 percent deflection rate of missiles fired from Gaza. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/5-weapons-that-dont-need-a-human-to-pull-the-trigger/
>> No. 19113 ID: 963c4b
File 143904546244.jpg - (278.25KB , 968x723 , Israeli Iron Dome EL-M-2084 active radar 1.jpg )
The system is designed to counter short-range rockets and 155 mm artillery shells with a range of up to 70 kilometers. According to its manufacturer, Iron Dome will operate day and night, under adverse weather conditions, and can respond to multiple threats simultaneously.

Iron Dome has three central components:

* Detection & Tracking Radar: the radar system is built by Elta, an Israeli defense company and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, and by the IDF.
* Battle Management & Weapon Control (BMC): the control center is built for Rafael by mPrest Systems, an Israeli software company.
* Missile Firing Unit: the unit launches the Tamir interceptor missile, equipped with electro-optic sensors and several steering fins for high maneuverability. The missile is built by Rafael.
The system's radar is referred to as EL/M-2084. It detects the rocket's launch and tracks its trajectory. The BMC calculates the impact point according to the reported data, and uses this information to determine whether the target constitutes a threat to a designated area. Only when that threat is determined, is an interceptor missile fired to destroy the incoming rocket before it reaches the predicted impact area.

- The EL/M-2084 active electronically scanned array scaled down derivative radar of the Iron Dome
>> No. 19114 ID: 963c4b
File 143904558578.jpg - (0.98MB , 2832x4256 , Israeli Iron Dome mobile all-weather air defense s.jpg )
Following the system's deployment in April 2011, Iron Dome was used to successfully intercept Katyusha rockets fired by Palestinian militants. In August that year, Iron Dome intercepted 20 missiles and rockets fired into Israel. However, in one instance the system destroyed four out of five rockets fired at the city of Beersheba but failed to stop the fifth which killed one man and injured several others.

In November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Iron Dome's effectiveness was estimated by Israeli officials at between 75 and 95 percent. According to Israeli officials, of the approximately 1,000 missiles and rockets fired into Israel by Hamas from the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense up to 17 November 2012, Iron Dome identified two thirds as not posing a threat and intercepted 90 percent of the remaining 300. During this period the only Israeli casualties were three individuals killed in missile attacks after a malfunction of the Iron Dome system.

In comparison with other air defense systems, the effectiveness rate of Iron Dome is very high. Defense consultant Steven Zaloga stated that Iron Dome's destruction of 90 percent of missiles it targeted is "an extremely high level", above that usually expected for air defense systems. Slate reported that the effectiveness rate is "unprecedented" in comparison with earlier systems such as the Patriot missile defence system.

Defense reporter Mark Thompson wrote that, the "lack of Israeli casualties suggests Iron Dome is the most-effective, most-tested missile shield the world has ever seen."

During Operation Protective Edge Iron Dome's interceptors were claimed to have struck down 87%-90% of their targets, totaling 735 successful interceptions.
>> No. 19115 ID: 963c4b
File 143904589647.jpg - (717.53KB , 3150x2106 , US UAV X-47B Grumman Pegasus Joint Unmanned Combat.jpg )
Taranis and X-47B - While some experts debate whether the Taranis and X-74B are actually autonomous (a human is “in the loop” at some point or another), these two are far more automated than your average drone. Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Sheffield University, says that with a drone “You have a pilot and sensor operator with large screens in front of them. [The drone] flies to the coordinates, [the pilots] select the targets.” But the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s Taranis basically flies itself. Designed to be a test model, Taranis can find enemies but must be triggered by a human to fire. The U.S. Navy’s X-47B, which Sharkey calls “something Batman would fly,” is built to do several things without a human, including carrying out missions with zero human involvement, fueling itself mid-air and landing. It’s important to note that both are solely prototypes at this stage. In fact, once X-47B is done with demonstrations, it’s headed to a museum. But considering that the U.K. has opposed an international ban on autonomous weapons, and the U.S. Department of Defense’s policy on military A.I. isn’t exactly bulletproof in its call for “appropriate levels of human judgment in the use of force,” lethal, autonomous machines could be here sooner than we expect. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/5-weapons-that-dont-need-a-human-to-pull-the-trigger/
>> No. 19116 ID: 963c4b
File 14390463032.jpg - (1.86MB , 4240x2830 , US UAV X-47B Grumman Pegasus & Omega KC-707 ta.jpg )
During the mission, which is the capstone to a series of refueling tests this week, the X-47B took off, flew out to the tanker, formed up with it, engaged the basket, and then sucked 4,000 pounds of fuel from it before heading back home to Naval Air Station Patuxent River for an autonomous landing.

The aircraft’s refueling system and software was developed over many years, and could provide autonomous aerial refueling for future Navy UCAVs operating from aircraft carriers.

According to Northrop Grumman: Northrop Grumman began developing AAR (air-to-air refueling) technology for both Navy and Air Force application nearly a decade ago, pioneering a “hybrid” approach that integrates both GPS and infrared imaging to enhance navigational precision and hedge against GPS disruption. Initial UCAS-D flight testing began in 2012 using a manned Learjet as a surrogate for the X-47B. These successful proof-of-concept flights demonstrated the overall feasibility of the X-47B AAR system and helped refine its navigation, command and control, and infrared sensor processing components. http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/bask-in-the-awesome-of-the-bat-winged-x-47b-sipping-gas-1699562585
>> No. 19117 ID: 963c4b
File 14390463877.jpg - (195.26KB , 2048x1366 , US UAV X-47B Grumman Pegasus & Omega KC-707 ta.jpg )
Unless something drastically changes, the fact that the X-47B will be retired even though the stealthy “cranked kite” flying wings (there are two X-47B demonstrators, Salty Dog 501 & 502) have only used up 20 percent of their service life remains somewhat of a controversial issue.

Considering that the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program, which is the Navy’s production follow-on contract to the X-47B program, keeps getting delayed over requirements squabbling in Washington, keeping these incredibly capable machines in testing seems like a no-brainer.

The success of the X-47B program also reminded USAF, and the public, just what Northrop Grumman and their stealthy flying wings are capable. How this will factor in to the USAF’s looming and shadowy Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) contract award is uncertain, but the shape of the X-47B is highly rumored to very similar to the Northrop Grumman’s entrant into that contest.

Regardless of what will happen next in any of these programs-related procurement programs, these two super-drones will go down in history as some of the most game-changing test aircraft ever built. As a result, their final orders will surely include sitting sentry in America’s most prominent aviation museums.
>> No. 19123 ID: 9aea35
File 143906782483.jpg - (57.81KB , 1300x957 , full-length-portrait-mature-man-running-butterfly-.jpg )
>syriangirl better
>> No. 21050 ID: 9ea451
  Air Force Experts Vs. Combat Artificial Intelligence
Published on Jun 29, 2016 https://youtu.be/WtD_fv9-x6c
The Air Force recently tested an artificial intelligence flight combat system named ALPHA against it's own tactical experts. John Iadarola, host of ThinkTank gives his final judgment on the use of artificial intelligence in combat. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Read more here: https://www.engadget.com/2016/06/28/combat-ai-beats-air-force-experts/

"A new artificial intelligence flight combat system dubbed ALPHA has taken on one of the Air Force's top tactical experts and won. Retired USAF Colonel Gene Lee -- an experienced combat instructor with "considerable fighter aircraft expertise" -- was repeatedly shot down during engagements with ALPHA in a high-fidelity air combat simulation. Lee called his computerized opponent "the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I've seen to date."

The details of Col. Lee's showdown were published in University of Cincinnati Magazine and the ALPHA AI itself was developed by UC offshoot Psibernetix, Inc. as an autonomous wingman to a human pilot. After ALPHA shot down a range of other AI opponents, Col. Lee jumped into the simulator against a "mature" version of the ALPHA code last October. Lee, who has trained thousands of Air Force pilots and has been taking on AI opponents since the early 80s, was unable to score a single kill against ALPHA on multiple tries. In fact, he was shot down every time."
>> No. 21051 ID: 9ea451
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Combat AI beats the Air Force's top tactical experts
And it only requires the processing power of a Raspberry Pi.
A new artificial intelligence flight combat system dubbed ALPHA has taken on one of the Air Force's top tactical experts and won. Retired USAF Colonel Gene Lee -- an experienced combat instructor with "considerable fighter aircraft expertise" -- was repeatedly shot down during engagements with ALPHA in a high-fidelity air combat simulation. Lee called his computerized opponent "the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I've seen to date."

The details of Col. Lee's showdown were published in University of Cincinnati Magazine and the ALPHA AI itself was developed by UC offshoot Psibernetix, Inc. as an autonomous wingman to a human pilot. After ALPHA shot down a range of other AI opponents, Col. Lee jumped into the simulator against a "mature" version of the ALPHA code last October. Lee, who has trained thousands of Air Force pilots and has been taking on AI opponents since the early 80s, was unable to score a single kill against ALPHA on multiple tries. In fact, he was shot down every time.

"I was surprised at how aware and reactive it was," Lee told UC Magazine. "It seemed to be aware of my intentions and reacting instantly to my changes in flight and my missile deployment. It knew how to defeat the shot I was taking. It moved instantly between defensive and offensive actions as needed."
>> No. 21052 ID: 9ea451
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Even when the researchers placed ALPHA at a severe disadvantage by limiting the speed, turning, and weapons and sensor capabilities of its simulated aircraft, the AI pilot was able to beat out other expert human pilots. According to UC Magazine, ALPHA's AI is fast and robust enough to actually coordinate a tactical plan in a combat situation "over 250 times faster than ALPHA's human opponents could blink." Going beyond current AI-Human combat teams, ALPHA will eventually be able to control a squad of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles flying in support of a human pilot, constantly learning and adapting to opponents in the heat of battle.

"ALPHA would be an extremely easy AI to cooperate with and have as a teammate," UC researcher Kelly Cohen explained. "ALPHA could continuously determine the optimal ways to perform tasks commanded by its manned wingman, as well as provide tactical and situational advice to the rest of its flight."

Almost as impressive as ALPHA's piloting skills: the AI's algorithms actually require very little processing power to execute. According to UC researchers, the system was trained and tested on a $500 consumer-grade PC, but it could run on something as simple as a $35 Raspberry Pi machine. It does this using what's called a "Genetic Fuzzy Tree" system that distills data into key language-based variables and makes decisions the same way a human might. The difference, to make the inevitable Top Gun reference, is ALPHA flies "ice cold, no mistakes."
>> No. 21053 ID: 9ea451
  This appears to be conflating issues. Alpha is just a program for autonomous fighter planes. The hardware is basic to operate the program. Worrying if it becomes self-aware is just silly. The large supercomputers managing the robot weapons is the more likely candidate for developing sentience.
AI Shoots Downs Expert Fighter Pilot in Dogfight Simulation https://youtu.be/8JpzYm1GPwc
Psibernetix, a company founded by a doctoral graduate from the University of Cincinnati developed an A.I. pilot who beat an expert human fighter pilot in simulation dogfights. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Gene Lee took on ALPHA, the A.I. pilot, in a series of simulations and was shot down or evaded each time. Lee was, “surprised at how aware and reactive,” ALPHA was during the tests. That’s because ALPHA can make decisions 250 times faster than a human can. Could this mean a change in future warfare? Nik Zecevic, Elliot Hill and Joy Mia Italiano discuss AI weaponry on the Lip News. http://www.popsci.com/ai-pilot-beats-air-combat-expert-in-dogfight?src=SOC&dom=tw
>> No. 21055 ID: 1e7925

Lots of talk about this at work. The AI mostly improved on the existing AI opponent, it's not really OMG TERMINATOR AI thing.

The U Cincinnati article is a little less hype-y. The linked white paper comes across as an infomercial for the guys' fuzzy logic algorithm.


>> No. 21056 ID: 396316
Yeah no shit it doesn't require a lot of processing power to calculate vectors in a completely controlled environment, I've been getting my ass kicked by AI since ace combat two.

It's when it gets into uncontrolled environments that things get a lot more complicated.

Instead of having every grid point mapped in a computer and every moving object accounted for, in a real world the AI would have to collect data and build a HIGHLY IMPERFECT picture of the world around it. For example there would be no way to predict and react to simple things like enemy flak blowing up near or a sensor going out.

Also a lot more important is the ability to decide where the pilot fits in the overall tactical, strategic and even political landscape. If he shoots down that Israeli jet will the pilot be starting a thermonuclear war? Is that passenger jet out of Iran a simple airliner or a converted chemical weapons delivery system, and how to make a value judgement?
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The AI would build an imperfect picture of the world around it, like how human pilots do, but people can make sound judgments based on common sense and experience (difficult to quantify and translate into a computer program), but an AI could just ignore things that are not threats or concerning to the mission. Such as being mindful of areas it is not supposed to enter, the ground or navigational hazards, or threats such as enemy radar, anti-aircraft artillery or missiles. When fighting an aerial dogfight, the AI could be programmed to concentrate on the most pressing concerns in order of importance, such as enemy aircraft, flak and SAMs.
And as for predicting the trajectory of enemy flak, that would be the AI's forte as long as its sensors are effective (and the sensors it is sharing with its network). If the AI indeed thinks and reacts with logical decisions hundreds of times faster than a human can, it could weave through flak and obstructions like an ace in the prosecution of its mission.
And determining who to attack, the AI would be governed by the rules of engagement, just like human pilots are, but the AI might make unfortunate judgment calls.
>> No. 21142 ID: 30f399
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Now imagine if such sophistication could be imparted to missiles. If the missile's sensors are precise enough to correctly identify the enemy aircraft it was locked on to, the missile's AI might be effective in ignoring counter-measures and predicting the aircraft's movements to plot the best course to destroy the aircraft.
- US Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder missile.
>> No. 21143 ID: 30f399
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"You're not fooling anyone, flyboy."
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