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Sunday, June 13, 2021

USAF Autonomous Drone Skyborg Completes First Flight

Will continue to see more of this effort. 

US Air Force autonomous Drone Skyborg completes first flight,  by Sarah Katz , Tech Xplore

Last month, the United States Air Force successfully test flew an unnamed aerial vehicle (UAV) called Skyborg, operating on an autonomous hardware/software suite, for the very first time.

The military aims for this UAV to fuel collaboration among manned and unmanned aircraft. For its first test run, the Skyborg suite flew aboard a Kratos UTAP-22 Mako air vehicle in the first step of what's known as the Autonomous Attritable Aircraft Experimentation Campaign.  ... "

So what is an 'Attritable' weapon?  Reusable in general .....  

  ' ... Soaring unit costs for frontline military aircraft that have effectively reduced the size of U.S. fleets is forcing a shift to so-called “attritable” designs emphasizing lower-cost unmanned aircraft that can be reused at least several times with minimal maintenance.

The design philosophy—an apparent reference to the term “attrit,” as in wearing down an opponent via sustained attacks—is being driven by soaring procurement costs for modern weapons, most notably the poster child of out-of-control unit costs, the F-35 Lightning, that currently costs about $90 million a copy....' 

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