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The Rise of Skyborg: Air Force Betting on New Robotic Wingman

The next year will be pivotal for the Air Force’s effort to acquire a new class of autonomous drones, as industry teams compete for a chance to build a fleet of robotic wingmen that will soon undergo operational experimentation.

The “Skyborg” program is one of the service’s top science-and-technology priorities under the “Vanguard” initiative to deliver game-changing capabilities to its warfighters.

The aim is to acquire relatively inexpensive, attritable unmanned aircraft that can leverage artificial intelligence and accompany manned fighter jets into battle.

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