Project Mosquito

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Certainly tests carried out in the US some years ago proved that unmanned semi-autonomous tactical aircraft could react successfully to unplanned circumstances, and in such a manner that was superior to manned counterparts.

The tests were with just two craft but it proved that many UCAVs could greatly leverage this cooperative decision making and were conducted in 2005 with Boeing X-45A UCAVs using Boeing’s Decision Mission-Control Software.

Hunter-Killer UAVs to swarm battlefields

UCAV’s have a much greater combat radius of their manned progenitors due to lower kinetic and manoeuvrability requirements, don’t have space and payload taken up by cockpit pilot and life support systems. They are cheaper, more expendable, can be built to less demanding specs, and can be designed to be quick change for multiple roles.

Its the way forward.
 
Announcement today at RIAT that three contratcs have been awarded to teams to develop a Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA).

The Teams Chosen are

Blue Bear Systems Blue Bear Systems Research
Boeing Phantom Works
Black Dawn (Callen-Lenz, Northrup Grumman UK, Bombardier NI)

MoD announces Project ‘Mosquito’ contracts to develop unmanned technologies for fast jets | Jane's 360

RIAT: UK takes wraps off unmanned LANCA concept

View attachment 405648View attachment 405649

Half the work already done

Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1975-117-26,_Marschflugkörper_V1_vor_Start.jpg
 
Autonomous or semi-autonomous aircraft are still a very long way away from being able to even approach the versatility and reactions of manned platforms in anything but simple operations such as pre-planned strike (ie a 'reusable cruise missile').

Essentially, Mosquito is yet another 'loyal-wingman' concept; Boeing and others have launched similar programmes in recent years. It's small size means that it's endurance will be limited so will either have to be launched by the manned lead (which would drastically reduce its own payload and range) or by a platform such as an A400M (which would require modification to dispense the Mosquitos). Then there's the question of how they'd be recovered.

In contrast, the USAF and RAAF are seemingly opting for much larger designs that can be flown and recovered conventionally from airfields. These also have similar kinematic performance to manned fighters (they still have to react to threats such as SAMs and fighters).

Boeing Defence Australia are developing this concept for the RAAF.

Meanwhile, the USAF Research Lab's Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie is already in test.


Whatever their size, the advantage of loyal-wingmen however is that by flying in the same 'package' as manned platforms, they can use line of sight data links (RF or laser) to operate and interact. This frees them from the normal heavy SATCOM related payloads of 'traditional' RPAS such as Reaper and RQ-170 (which also tend to offset the weight of crew and life-support in manned types!) unless you wish them to operate separately to manned assets. Loyal-wingmen can then become an extension of the lead's sensors, self-defence systems and weapons.

Loyal-wingmen will become an increasing feature of Air Power, as will 'swarming' UAVs such as the US Gremlin and Perdix systems which are now in test. These are essentially 'intelligent sub-munitions' with varying levels of autonomy. However, their small size means that they are very short-ranged.

Regards,
MM
 
Interesting the numbers of aerials, vents and other general lumps and bumps by comparison.
It certainly doesn't look very stealthy! Equally, the Russians have never placed as much emphasis on RCS as the West and it is just a prototype.

Regards,
MM
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
It certainly doesn't look very stealthy! Equally, the Russians have never placed as much emphasis on RCS as the West and it is just a prototype.

Regards,
MM
I read some years ago speculation about plasma generators - creating a field around the aircraft which changed the radar signature but which would then allow even the unstealthiest of shapes to remain hidden.

Possibly AW&ST or IDR about a million years ago, and no evidence of it appearing since (no pun intended).
 
This new Rapid Capabilities shop seems to be busy as hell and to have a Rapid route to the money bag, no?
 
How much does it cost to recruit, train and retain a pilot, only to have their pink and squishiness limiting the capabilities of whatever platform they are in?

AI is developing at a furious rate. Surely, planning to spend a fortune on manned aircraft in the future is a grave error.

I'm sure Defence will make sure pilots the centre of their future air procurement though since their senior decision makers are all... Pilots.
 
How much does it cost to recruit, train and retain a pilot, only to have their pink and squishiness limiting the capabilities of whatever platform they are in?

AI is developing at a furious rate. Surely, planning to spend a fortune on manned aircraft in the future is a grave error.

I'm sure Defence will make sure pilots the centre of their future air procurement though since their senior decision makers are all... Pilots.
Duncan Sandys walt ;-)
His white paper was in 1957. The English Electric Lightning only entered service because the project to develop it was too far in to the programme to cancel. I wouldn't trust Boeing on AI these days...
 
How much does it cost to recruit, train and retain a pilot, only to have their pink and squishiness limiting the capabilities of whatever platform they are in?...
The going rate will be dependent on what training is provided and the individual's background.

Meanwhile humans don't limit capabilities any more than several hundred kg of black boxes, antennae and the need to radiate over vulnerable data links do.

...AI is developing at a furious rate. Surely, planning to spend a fortune on manned aircraft in the future is a grave error...
The rate is not as 'furious' as many believe, as numerous operational trials continue to demonstrate. Even ignoring the ethical factors, we're still several decades from where AI can even approach the mental and decision making dexterity of carbon-based life-forms.

...I'm sure Defence will make sure pilots the centre of their future air procurement though since their senior decision makers are all... Pilots.
No they're not.

Regards,
MM
 
The going rate will be dependent on what training is provided and the individual's background.

Meanwhile humans don't limit capabilities any more than several hundred kg of black boxes, antennae and the need to radiate over vulnerable data links do.



The rate is not as 'furious' as many believe, as numerous operational trials continue to demonstrate. Even ignoring the ethical factors, we're still several decades from where AI can even approach the mental and decision making dexterity of carbon-based life-forms.



No they're not.

Regards,
MM
Pilots don't make decisions, they make judgements. Machines are very good at judging. If driverless cars are on the horizon, then why not pilotless planes?
 
Pilots don't make decisions, they make judgements...
I'd be interested in your definition of airborne judgement v decision making. However, my immediate response to that statement is...Bollocks! :)

...Machines are very good at judging. If driverless cars are on the horizon, then why not pilotless planes?...
I've not said we're not having pilotless planes; I've said your AI panacea is a lot further away than many think.

Meanwhile, the environment that a car works in is significantly more simple than a military aircraft.

Regards,
MM
 
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I'd be interested in your definition of airborne judgement v decision making. However, my immediate response to that statements is...Bollocks! :)



I've not said we're not having pilotless planes; I've said your AI panacea is a lot further away than many think.

Meanwhile, the environment that a car works in is significantly more simple than a military aircraft.

Regards,
MM
How are the empty skies more complex than the ground? A few other aircraft and the threat of AD are hardly more complex than the world we live in, using any definition of the word 'complex'.
 

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