Air-combat maneuvers will be far more challenging than strike missions for artificial intelligence, so countries planning autonomous warplanes are generally looking at trying air-to-ground first. But to many Japanese ears, unmanned strike sounds too offensive—in both senses of the word. Probably for that reason, the country’s defense planners are proposing to leap directly into air-to-air automation. Limiting the challenge, they propose high-performance robotic aircraft that ...


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