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GAO: USAF Doesn’t Have Enough RPA Pilots, Sensor Operators for New Squadron

The Air Force may not have enough remotely piloted aircraft pilots and sensor operators to stand up a new wing in 2024, as it struggles to retain personnel and increase the size of its instructor pilot cadre, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report.

The service is planning to open a new RPA wing so it can have enough dwell time within the RPA community to take a squadron off combat operations to focus on training. The GAO, in the June 25 report, states “the Air Force does not have enough pilots and sensor operators to meet its staffing targets for its unmanned aircraft.” The organization bases this claim on years of staffing data, along with 14 focus group meetings at three operational bases.

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AI-infused training coming for drone pilots, sensor ops

The Air Force is expanding its experiment with advanced, artificial intelligence-infused pilot training to the pipeline for creating drone pilots and sensor operators.

The program, called RPA Training Next, takes some cues from the Air Force’s Pilot Training Next program. In a June 1 interview, program director Maj. Adam “Boomer” Smith said this new, high-tech system of learning has the potential to teach new remotely piloted aircraft aircrew faster and more efficiently than the old system, and fine-tune their lessons to what they actually need.

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Unmanned aircraft could provide low-cost boost for Air Force?s future aircraft inventory, new study says

WASHINGTON ? As the U.S. Air Force looks to increase the size and capability of its aircraft inventory, the service should assess the possibility of using drones as a low-cost and highly available alternative to manned airplanes, posits a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The CSIS report, which was obtained by Defense News and other news outlets ahead of its Oct. 29 release, compares three recent congressionally mandated studies on the Air Force?s future force structure by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank, the federally funded research organization MITRE Corp. and the service itself.

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This dramatic video shows China’s answer to America’s top combat drone blowing things to bits

The developers of one of China’s newest and most advanced combat drones have released a new video showcasing its destructive capabilities.

The video was released just one week prior to the start of the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, where this drone made its debut in 2016.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s CH-5 combat drone, nicknamed the “Air Bomb Truck” because it soars into battle with 16 missiles, is the successor to the CH-4, which many call the “AK-47 of drones.”

BusinessInsider.com