Boeing unveils unmanned military aircraft in Australia
UAV ‘Loyal Wingman’ was shown by the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, division of the company in the country, and will be offered to US allies
Boeing unveiled this week a new unmanned platform at the Australian International Airshow in the city of Avalon. The aircraft, named the ‘Loyal Wingman‘, is a 38-foot long fighter-like that will be offered on the international market.
An aircraft mockup was exposed at the event revealing stealth shapes and dual vertical stabilizers. Boeing did not disclose details of the model, but said its range would be more than 2,000 nautical miles.
The Loyal Wingman will be able to fly independently thanks to artificial intelligence or supported by a manned aircraft. It can be used in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare missions. The illustrations of the aircraft, however, do not reveal whether the UAV fighter will have combat capability.
“The Boeing Airpower Teaming System will provide a disruptive advantage for allied forces / unmanned missions,” said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Boeing Autonomous Systems. “With its ability to reconfigure quickly and perform different types of missions in tandem with other aircraft, our newest addition to Boeing’s portfolio will truly be multiplier as it protects and projects air power.”
The aircraft was developed by the Australian-based Boeing Airpower Teaming System with the help of the Phantom Works division specializing in advanced designs.
The most interesting aspect of the UAV is the fact that it was designed to be offered to allied forces and not to the United States itself. “This aircraft is a historic endeavor for Boeing. Not only is it developed outside the United States, it is also designed so our global customers can integrate local content to meet their country-specific requirements, “said Marc Allen, president, Boeing International.
Boeing plans to make the first Loyal Wingman flight in 2020.