U.S. Air Force B-21 and NGAD Programs Spawn Autonomous Shadow Aircraft

Northrop Grumman X-47B demonstrators
The 15-year-old Northrop Grumman X-47B demonstrators are typical of the performance characteristics sought by the U.S. Air Force for an uncrewed wingman to fly alongside the B-21 bomber.
Credit: Northrop Grumman
A new proposal by the U.S. Air Force is transforming the concept of a “Loyal Wingman” for the Northrop Grumman B-21 bomber and future Next-Generation Air Dominance aircraft. Rather than a small, reusable, autonomous aircraft that is cheap enough to sacrifice on any given mission, two new classified...

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