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Airbus proposes Wingman stealth UAV to reduce risks to human pilots

Airbus proposes Wingman stealth UAV to reduce risks to human pilots
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Airbus has unveiled a concept for an unmanned stealth drone that will assist fighter pilots during armed aerial combat. A full-scale model of the prototype aircraft called Wingman will be presented at the ILA International Aerospace Exhibition in Berlin this week.

Unlike nimble drones that have become ubiquitous on the battlefield in Ukraine, Wingman is roughly the same size as a fighter jet. The drone will be able to do everything a manned fighter jet can, but without risking human lives. This means it can be sent on more dangerous missions.

Airbus says Wingman's tasks will range from reconnaissance and jamming of targets to engaging enemies on the ground or in the air. Although the drone will be unmanned, a human pilot will always have full control over their assistant aircraft.

While the project is still in its early stages, Airbus envisions that Wingman could be used in conjunction with German 4th-generation Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.

"The German Air Force has openly stated a need for an unmanned aerial vehicle that would fly alongside their manned fighters," said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space. "Our Wingman concept is the answer."

Currently, Europe is working on the so-called Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is designed to replace current air defense technologies. The proposal includes the creation of a new weapon system, a sixth-generation fighter to replace the Eurofighter, and remotely piloted carrier drones. Airbus is developing the FCAS in collaboration with French Dassault Aviation and Spanish Indra Sistemas. The partners plan to have the system operational by 2045.

For now, Wingman is limited to a bunch of beautiful 3D renders and a demonstration model—it is unknown if it will ever take to the skies. However, it is certain that there will be fewer people and more machines on the battlefield of the future.

Source: thenextweb

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