US experiences AI technology for unmanned F-16

CALIFORNIA: The United States Air Force is making significant strides in integrating artificial intelligence into its weaponry, particularly with trials underway to utilize AI as a controller for the F-16 fighter jet. Washington’s ambitious plan involves constructing 1,000 AI-controlled fighter planes, marking a pivotal development in military technology.

Director General of the Air Force at the US Department of Defense, Frank Kendall, embarked on one of the F-16s for a demonstration. Although specific details of Kendall’s flight were withheld for security reasons, it was confirmed that he disembarked at Edwards Air Force Base in California after experiencing a flight controlled by AI.

Kendall’s journey was aboard the Variable In-flight Simulator Aircraft (Vista), part of a program that commenced flight testing in December 2022. His firsthand experience aimed to assess the capabilities of AI in controlling one of the Air Force’s flagship fighter jets. Following an hour-long flight, Kendall expressed confidence in AI’s potential in future air combat, emphasizing the necessity of integrating it for security reasons.

During an air combat simulation involving both AI-controlled and human-piloted F-16s, Kendall underscored the AI controller’s ability to make critical decisions in battle. However, he emphasized the importance of human oversight in determining when to engage in combat.

While the prospect of AI as a fighter jet pilot presents numerous advantages, considerations regarding security, budget, and strategy remain paramount. The high costs associated with maintaining human-operated aircraft, such as the F-35, underscore the urgency of AI integration.”

Looking ahead, the US acknowledges the need to address its lag behind China in unmanned vehicles. In future wartime scenarios, the strategic deployment of AI-controlled unmanned vehicles is anticipated to offer tactical advantages, potentially reshaping military operations.

While testing of AI technology for fighter jets continues, the US remains steadfast in its plans to produce 1,000 AI-controlled fighter planes, marking a significant milestone in military aviation.


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