The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the first of three prototype Loyal Wingman drone aircraft developed by Boeing Australia. It is the first such aircraft to be fully designed and manufactured in Australia in half a century.
It was created by 35 Australian companies and organizations from four states. The Loyal Wingman is the latest jet-powered combat drone that will form the backbone of the Unified Attack Aircraft System (ATS).
During the design process, in addition to the prototype of the drone itself, its "digital twin" was created to simulate structures, systems, capabilities and parameters of the full life cycle. The prototype is 11.7 m long and is made of modern composite materials.
Loyal Wingman is designed to work in conjunction with a manned aircraft, from which it will be controlled using artificial intelligence and customizable sensors. Its flight range is 3, 700 km, while it can perform both combat and reconnaissance missions.
According to Boeing, ground tests of the Loyal Wingman will begin this year. In the future, the finished product will be available on the world market.