How Efficiently the X-62A Skyborg Program Will Be Integrate With F-16 Fighter Jets
The F-16 fighter jet is still very relevant today. In a way, the fighter jet still has enormous utility. In fact, the F-16 continues to be developed with new roles and variants.
In this regard, the F-16 has a close relationship with the Skyborg Autonomy. Where when the Skyborg Autonomy program was carried out, the Air Force had entrusted the heavily modified F-16 fighter with a new role.
To support Skyborg’s tactical autonomy program, the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has planned to begin flying a modified two-seat F-16 fighter (called the NF-16D) later this year, according to Arnold Air Base Press.
Quoted from the Eurasian Times, the old F-16 has traditionally been used as a simulator aircraft to train pilots. The NF 16 Variable In-flight Simulator Aircraft (VISTA) was originally an F-16D Block 30 which underwent several upgrades and changes before flying for the first time in its current configuration in 1992.
Since then, it has played an important role in the Trial School curriculum. NF 16 VISTA redesigned as X-62A, effective from 14 June 2021 after upgrade.
The X-62A can accommodate a variety of autonomous behaviors, including those from the Skyborg Autonomous Control System and others provided by third-party industry partners, according to Matthew Niemiec, leader of the autonomous aircraft experiment portfolio.
For information, the Skyborg program was born from the idea that autonomous systems can significantly increase capacity. It is also a force multiplier for the US Air Force. It is the Air Force Department Vanguard initiative that has guided the transition to open modular autonomy to allow the fighter masses to use low-cost drones.
These vehicles will be equipped with autonomous technology and assistance in carrying out critical tasks by human piloted aircraft. Skyborg is a US strategy to prepare for prospective battles with near-peer adversaries by emphasizing future scalability through a transportable, modular and customizable autonomous system.
Citing Air Force Magazine, earlier, a pair of XQ-58 Valkyrie drones completed a series of tests for the Air Force’s Skyborg program. It is an artificial intelligence-enabled autonomous system to control drones in the future manned/unmanned aircraft team concept. This is also a milestone for Skyborg testing