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An F-22 Pilot in a Real Jet Just Took on China’s J-20 in Augmented Reality

An American veteran F-22 pilot just took on a virtual representation of China’s Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter from the seat of a very real aircraft in flight. The Chinese fighter was projected on the pilot’s augmented reality helmet-mounted display, giving a real pilot in a real aircraft the opportunity to train against a seemingly real foreign opponent. According to the two firms responsible for the test, this marks the first time such an engagement with a virtual adversary has ever been achieved.

In a story first covered by Thomas Newdick at The Warzone, U.S. companies Red 6 and EpiSci announced the successful test of their augmented reality training program earlier this week. Their veteran F-22 pilot participated in the test from the stick of a Freeflight Composites Berkut 560 experimental aircraft. Inside the cockpit, he wore a helmet that included an augmented reality display that projected the image of his opponent, China’s J-20, in his field of view. The enemy aircraft was not controlled by another aviator, but was instead a reactive adversary controlled by EpiSci’s Tactical AI technology.

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