Key.Aero Network
Register Free

Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: Most combat aircraft will be autonomous by 2025

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565

    Most combat aircraft will be autonomous by 2025

    It is my estimate that most combat aircraft will be unmanned by 2025. This means current and future UAV's like the Predator, but also older legacy aircraft that were previously unmanned, such as the F-16, the F-18, the F-22, the F-35, the Eurofighter, the Rafale, the Su-30, the Mig-21...

    The reason for this is that technology is about to see major breakthroughs in two fields that will make this possible:

    - The first field is robotics. I've seen video's of robotic hands and controllers being installed onto hobby planes, so the computer could "manually" fly them like a human would. This allows a computer to control any aircraft (or vehicle for that matter) that a human can (and more), by manipulating the controls the way a human would. This is important because it allows a computer to control aircraft without needing to introduce a digital control system, or to upgrade the existing digital control system to make it accessible to the controlling computer.

    - The second fields is software and computing power, what most would call AI. Computers are getting powerful and smart enough to take over an increasing number of extremely complex tasks, most notably driving a car in busy traffic. USAF research has shown that software running on a low end computer will already beat human pilots in dogfights in most engagements. The UK has hinted that its latest UAVs are capable of extreme levels of autonomous mission execution, although the details remain secret.

    These evolutions show that technology is quickly catching up to human pilots, and it is only logical that Air Forces around the world will quickly adapt to this technology, for a number of reasons:

    - Cost: a human pilot is extremely expensive, needing to be paid a salary, health insurance, a pension, but most notable a large number of training flights to retain his skill. An AI would cost a fraction of that.

    - Skill: a human pilot's skill tends to fluctuate, and flatten out, as well as be lost when he gives up his job. USAF research has shown that software can already systematically beat human pilots in dogfights, even with an inferior aircraft. These superior skills will never be lost once gained, and will likely improve exponentially as the software is improved and the cost of computing power continues to decline. In addition the skill level can easily be copied to other computers, allowing for an almost limitless number of Ace pilots.

    - Endurance: AI doesn't get sleepy, tired, distracted, angry, scared, confused... It is 24/7 unblinking, can take G forces all day long and will not make stupid mistakes.

    - Superhuman abilities: AI will be able to "see" in 360 degrees, with multiple sensors, as well as process data linked information. It will know the exact location and trajectory of every friendly and enemy aircraft, ground units, and launched missiles, and be able to compute all this information into a perfect battle plan. Which it will execute in perfect cooperation with its team mates as well as ground units thanks to their hive mind capabilities that will allow them to employ swarm tactics. And all this at almost instant speed, which will allow them to formulate and decide upon the most complex battle plans in moments.

    - Expendability: at the end of the day fighter pilots are in an extremely dangerous position, and taking the human pilot out of the cockpit is one less body bag to be sent home.

    All this combined suggests that in the next few years, companies will develop a sort of black box that will be able to fly pretty much any aircraft and execute any mission, cheaper and often better than a human could. And for obvious reasons Air Forces will adapt these systems, and those who fail to do so will pay a hefty price.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    5,190
    IMO 2025 is too soon because the infrastructure isn't available. 2050 would be a better time scale for widespread autonomy within major Air Forces. Wide scale autonomy requires wide scale networks, and those do not yet exist.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    4,364
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post

    - Cost: a human pilot is extremely expensive, needing to be paid a salary, health insurance, a pension, but most notable a large number of training flights to retain his skill. An AI would cost a fraction of that.

    -
    when you producing less pilots and more drone operators than time will come there will be less pilot instructors and it can even impact production of pilots for Cargo planes/Civil airlines and the whole system of airforce and flight operations will be impacted. the Civil airlines have now sky high salaries.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by djcross View Post
    IMO 2025 is too soon because the infrastructure isn't available. 2050 would be a better time scale for widespread autonomy within major Air Forces. Wide scale autonomy requires wide scale networks, and those do not yet exist.
    infrastructure? that's my point, you don't need any extra infrastructure, all you have to do is take the pilot out of the cockpit, put a computer in his seat so to speak and you're done

    if anything you'll need less infrastructure because you won't need training flights anymore, or just a fraction of them
    the USAF is about to buy up to a 1000 new trainer aircraft, if their jets were autonomous they wouldn't need any of those

    by wide scale networks I'm guessing you mean data links so the operators on the ground can see what the aircraft see. but that's the point, there will be no need, the aircraft will only communicate with the ground when there is something to report

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post
    The first field is robotics. I've seen video's of robotic hands and controllers being installed onto hobby planes, so the computer could "manually" fly them like a human would. This allows a computer to control any aircraft (or vehicle for that matter) that a human can (and more), by manipulating the controls the way a human would. This is important because it allows a computer to control aircraft without needing to introduce a digital control system, or to upgrade the existing digital control system to make it accessible to the controlling computer.
    Most modern aircraft are fly-by-wire and flight control computers. These would be easier to integrate with than some mechanical system which are an obvious point of failure.
    We already have remote control F-16's (used as targets), so this part is already solved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,927
    no way... transforming the current aircraft into drones would cost a fortune that nobody will be able to pay for. what's more, letting the aircraft do their job autonomously brings ethics problem, about target ID, killing of people by a machine with no human in the loop.

    it may become reality some day, but definitely not with current platforms, which means not before 2050 at the very earliest

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    no way... transforming the current aircraft into drones would cost a fortune that nobody will be able to pay for.
    well no that's the point
    the cost you'll save for not having to pay and train a pilot (and conduct CSAR missions to save him if he crashes) will save a fortune
    in these times of constricted military budgets the economics of the thing will push them to switch to autonomous

    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    what's more, letting the aircraft do their job autonomously brings ethics problem, about target ID, killing of people by a machine with no human in the loop.
    there's no reason they need to be out of the loop
    modern manned aircraft check with home base all the time to confirm their targets
    there's no reason autonomous aircraft couldn't do the same thing

    unless they're flying first day missions perhaps
    but then aircraft will also engage targets beyond visual range. if anything it's safer because autonomous aircraft will not engage targets unless all their target parameters are confirmed
    and if you need to confirm the target visually, you don't want to send in a manned aircraft into a dogfight with a Sukhoi, that's dangerous even for an F-22, never mind for any other type of aircraft. better to send in a drone

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan77
    Most modern aircraft are fly-by-wire and flight control computers. These would be easier to integrate with than some mechanical system which are an obvious point of failure.
    We already have remote control F-16's (used as targets), so this part is already solved.
    yes of course, but initially it might actually be easier and cheaper for a computer to control an aircraft the same way a human would
    not a programmer, not sure how hard it would be to integrate a separate computer into a modern FBW aircraft control system
    but I think it's especially interesting for older aircraft
    say a Mig-21, you can buy those for half a million or less. make them autonomous and put some advanced missiles on them, and you've got a cheap and effective weapons system
    sure they won't be as good as an autonomous F-16, but they're fast and cheap as dirt
    and because you'll only use them when needed maintenance costs won't make much difference either

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Virgina, USA
    Posts
    56
    Sanum, while I understand where you're going, I think you are seriously under-estimating the time required to get there. The development cycle for highly sophisticated military aircraft these days is in the 15 to 20+ year range, from program initiation to IOC, and that's if everything goes fairly well. Examples such as the F-35 (1990s to mid-teens) and Global Hawk (early/mid 1990s to somewhere near the 2010 period, depending on what you consider IOC) are fairly typical, and certainly not saving the DoD much money so far (mission effectiveness is a different issue, but can also be questionable depending the mission circumstances). Budgets are already planned for 2017 and 2018 in most countries, so a new start in 2019 is probably a pretty quick start. Also, in most countries (certainly in the U.S.) saving money 20 or 30 years in the future doesn't produce much investment money in the current budget. That puts your 2025 point for "most combat aircraft" mostly in dream land (at six or seven years). Also, the money you expect to save by eliminating the pilot is eaten up by the requirement to train and man the ground-based technicians that plan and fly/maintain the aircraft (save one U-2 pilot, add 5-7 people in the Ground Control Station). You can play with the numbers a little depending on which story you're trying to sell, but there's a definite price to pay. We used to emphasize that UAVs are "unoccupied", but certainly not "unmanned", the people were just located elsewhere. Add to that the cost of communications and data movement, infrastructure, and satisfying location-unique political and air-traffic issues, and the bill adds up pretty quickly. There's also a frequently overlooked long range issue: a few decades down the road, where are the experienced pilots who inform the builders how the airframe needs to perform to accomplish a desired mission? Based on my nearly 50 years in the business, I'm not sure I want engineers to decide how to do the mission...their expertise does not lay in combat operations. I see this all the time in my current line of work supporting the acquisition of new systems; building new systems from an engineer's perspective is frequently not the same as building one that meets a user's need in the field.

    So, I concur that automation and expansion of unmanned ("unoccupied" is still a better word, I think) systems will continue at a rapid pace in the future, but I think operationalizing it on a widening scale will be considerably farther down the road. Besides, what happens when the adversary hacks your system and tells your unmanned systems to shut down?? That's not an insignificant worry in these times!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,927
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post
    well no that's the point
    the cost you'll save for not having to pay and train a pilot (and conduct CSAR missions to save him if he crashes) will save a fortune
    in these times of constricted military budgets the economics of the thing will push them to switch to autonomous
    well, today, the major delays for the F-35 are software related, besides the huge amounts of cash spent, it's still a good way from what's been promised, and it's mostly about giving clues to the pilot, managing this or that part of sensors and have the interact properly, and so on... Setting up an artificial intelligence that will be able to manage the aircraft and apply decisions in real time in combat is not years but decades away.



    there's no reason they need to be out of the loop
    modern manned aircraft check with home base all the time to confirm their targets
    there's no reason autonomous aircraft couldn't do the same thing
    problem being, most of the time, the visual ID is still required.. how do you ID visually when your only eyes are hundreds or thousands of miles away?

    unless they're flying first day missions perhaps
    but then aircraft will also engage targets beyond visual range. if anything it's safer because autonomous aircraft will not engage targets unless all their target parameters are confirmed
    and if you need to confirm the target visually, you don't want to send in a manned aircraft into a dogfight with a Sukhoi, that's dangerous even for an F-22, never mind for any other type of aircraft. better to send in a drone
    well, fact is, if your enemy has sukhois, you do send your fighters against them.. it's not the "writing" on its side (Su-xx) that will kill you



    yes of course, but initially it might actually be easier and cheaper for a computer to control an aircraft the same way a human would
    no, not in several decades

    not sure how hard it would be to integrate a separate computer into a modern FBW aircraft control system
    but I think it's especially interesting for older aircraft
    say a Mig-21, you can buy those for half a million or less. make them autonomous and put some advanced missiles on them, and you've got a cheap and effective weapons system
    sure they won't be as good as an autonomous F-16, but they're fast and cheap as dirt
    and because you'll only use them when needed maintenance costs won't make much difference either

    extremely hard today.. it's is not about having a remote controlled fighter, it is about having an aircraft flown and maneuvered by a computer in a rapidly evolving environment, which is simply a huge task to do. The amount of information to manage in real time is enormous, even for the latest computers available, providing you were able to program them properly which is even worse

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,097
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post
    It is my estimate that most combat aircraft will be unmanned by 2025. This means current and future UAV's like the Predator, but also older legacy aircraft that were previously unmanned, such as the F-16, the F-18, the F-22, the F-35, the Eurofighter, the Rafale, the Su-30, the Mig-21...

    The reason for this is that technology is about to see major breakthroughs in two fields that will make this possible:...

    -... The first field is robotics.All this combined suggests that in the next few years, companies will develop a sort of black box that will be able to fly pretty much any aircraft and execute any mission, cheaper and often better than a human could. And for obvious reasons Air Forces will adapt these systems, and those who fail to do so will pay a hefty price.
    You are watching way too many sci-fi movies.

    You sound like a online version of the Popular Mechanics visions of the future, that started about a decade or so after the Wright Brothers first flight, which are 99 percent day dreaming by people who zero concept of how difficulties of reality vs. paper or computer generated wishful thinking.

    Although that is a good reason for lessor countries to develop nukes. The EMP would make all these robot wunder craft useless.
    Last edited by RpR; 16th February 2017 at 04:32.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,111
    The near future will focus on manned unmanned teaming apparently. I am pretty sure the USAF has said they wanted to use the unmanned F-16s as munition trucks for the the F-35. For a2a I'm not sure the link-16 would be fast enough, but it may well be considering that the AIM-120D can get its targetting data from link-16.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonflyer View Post
    The development cycle for highly sophisticated military aircraft these days is in the 15 to 20+ year range, from program initiation to IOC, and that's if everything goes fairly well.
    yes but that's for building an aircraft from scratch. I'm talking about upgrading the autopilot software

    Boeing demonstrated in 2005 that a computer could autonomously detect an unplanned threat, decide which aircraft would be best positioned to attack, ask for confirmation from a human operator and then execute the attack
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-45#X-45A

    last year a graduate student developed an AI that could be an expert human pilot every single time in dogfighting simulations
    http://www.popsci.com/ai-pilot-beats...rt-in-dogfight

    we don't need to develop this, it's already here. all we need to do is put it in aircraft and that's it

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonflyer View Post
    Also, in most countries (certainly in the U.S.) saving money 20 or 30 years in the future doesn't produce much investment money in the current budget.
    they won't have to, companies will develop it and offer it
    Air Force generals won't like it, but when politicians get wind of it that will change things
    and if the West won't do it, poorer countries will, if only because it will be so much cheaper

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonflyer View Post
    Also, the money you expect to save by eliminating the pilot is eaten up by the requirement to train and man the ground-based technicians that plan and fly/maintain the aircraft (save one U-2 pilot, add 5-7 people in the Ground Control Station).
    1) if you automate existing planes, you'll need as many ground crew to do maintenance

    2) but you'll lose the pilot, and you'll need hardly any training flights anymore, which will cut the number of flights down by like 90% outside of combat tours. according to a Time article an F-16 costs about $22,514 per hour to fly and flies about 300 hours a year, in peace time. if you automate that F-16 and scrap 90% of the flights, then the cost goes from $6.6 million to $500k per year. on top of that a computer is less likely to make mistakes, like fly into the ground or collide with other aircraft, plus you don't lose a multi-million Dollar investment if your pilot dies, nor do you need to send out an extremely expensive and risky rescue mission if he gets shot down over enemy territory

    3) the USAF is already looking to have on human operator control multiple UAVs. and landing will be fully automated, so there will be no longer a need for crews on the ground to land the aircraft (btw a large percentage of USAF UAV losses are due to pilot error on landing. the US Army suffers much fewer such losses because it has already automated the landings)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonflyer View Post
    Besides, what happens when the adversary hacks your system and tells your unmanned systems to shut down?? That's not an insignificant worry in these times!
    it is. which is a problem considering all manned aircraft today are digitally controlled, as are all satellites, weapons...
    anyone who can hack an unpiloted aircraft will probably be able to hack all those others as well, they all have datalinks

    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    Setting up an artificial intelligence that will be able to manage the aircraft and apply decisions in real time in combat is not years but decades away.
    as I posted above, such software has been around for over 10 years

    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    problem being, most of the time, the visual ID is still required.. how do you ID visually when your only eyes are hundreds or thousands of miles away?
    Facebook knows when I post a picture if I'm in it, as well as any of my friends
    I'm guessing by comparison recognizing a tank is a lot easier
    http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/AA...File/6435/6839

    but that doesn't keep an automated aircraft from doing the same that human pilots do today, which is to contact mission control and confirm the target
    unless you're flying deep into enemy territory and want to maintain radio silence, but then you're likely hitting GPS coordinates or targets likes missile launchers and radar, and yes computers have become pretty damn good at recognizing those, the F-35 does that automatically

    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    it is about having an aircraft flown and maneuvered by a computer in a rapidly evolving environment, which is simply a huge task to do. The amount of information to manage in real time is enormous, even for the latest computers available, providing you were able to program them properly which is even worse
    take a look at how the Tesla's drive in traffic, where there are waaaaaay more factors to take into account
    by comparison flying or even dogfighting is super easy because of the limited number of actors involved (aircraft + missiles)

    Quote Originally Posted by RpR View Post
    You are watching way too many sci-fi movies.
    I read an article published by Boeing on what their software could do in 2005
    if you run a multi-billion Dollar company that develops some of the most advanced autonomous aircraft on the planet, then do please tell us why your program failed where Boeing succeeded

    Quote Originally Posted by RpR View Post
    The EMP would make all these robot wunder craft useless.
    and likely fry every computer on every missile and manned aircraft as well, since they'd all have the same level of EMP resistance
    if that's your worry, you better get those Sabres out of the graveyard

    QUOTE=Hotshot;2374625]For a2a I'm not sure the link-16 would be fast enough, but it may well be considering that the AIM-120D can get its targetting data from link-16.[/QUOTE]

    I'm guessing by "datalink not fast enough" you mean that the F-35 pilot will manually steer the F-16s in a dogfight?
    because at BVR combat that's not relevant
    and WVR, as I mentioned software running on a Rasberry Pie will let a computer outfight any human pilot
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/raspber...-sim-dogfight/

    especially when datalinked with an F-35 with the latest sensors they'll kick ass
    and you don't need much data for that, all you have to know is the location of all aircraft in the area (simple GPS location + altitude), their bearing and speed (again a simple string of numbers), and the computers will compute from there how best to engage
    there's no need for large sized data streams with detailed images of the enemy, an AMRAAM doesn't need that either to do its job
    Last edited by Sanem; 16th February 2017 at 17:46.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,111
    I'm guessing by "datalink not fast enough" you mean that the F-35 pilot will manually steer the F-16s in a dogfight?
    because at BVR combat that's not relevant
    and WVR, as I mentioned software running on a Rasberry Pie will let a computer outfight any human pilot
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/raspber...-sim-dogfight/

    especially when datalinked with an F-35 with the latest sensors they'll kick ass
    and you don't need much data for that, all you have to know is the location of all aircraft in the area (simple GPS location + altitude), their bearing and speed (again a simple string of numbers), and the computers will compute from there how best to engage
    there's no need for large sized data streams with detailed images of the enemy, an AMRAAM doesn't need that either to do its job
    You may be right, maybe they'll do it. It might even be possible for 1 F-35 to control several F-16s with enough automation. For a2g it would be easier of course.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,106
    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    no way... transforming the current aircraft into drones would cost a fortune that nobody will be able to pay for. what's more, letting the aircraft do their job autonomously brings ethics problem, about target ID, killing of people by a machine with no human in the loop.

    it may become reality some day, but definitely not with current platforms, which means not before 2050 at the very earliest

    One could argue that traps and mines are nothing but crude machines that already kill a man (or many men in case of naval mines) without a man in the loop.

    The complexity of the machine doesn't change the principle. Of course this is a somewhat simplistic approach but nonetheless remains true.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,106
    =Hotshot;2374625]For a2a I'm not sure the link-16 would be fast enough, but it may well be considering that the AIM-120D can get its targetting data from link-16.

    I'm guessing by "datalink not fast enough" you mean that the F-35 pilot will manually steer the F-16s in a dogfight?
    because at BVR combat that's not relevant
    and WVR, as I mentioned software running on a Rasberry Pie will let a computer outfight any human pilot
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/raspber...-sim-dogfight/
    Errrr No, a raspberry pi is not fast enough to out-fly a human. The amount of parallel information that a human brain processes every second is still too much for a Pi. Just the number of channels for data you'd have to link to it is beyond the capacity of the board.

    Let's not exaggerate here.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,927
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post
    as I posted above, such software has been around for over 10 years
    that one is sufficient.. so basically, LM is dragging its feet since late '90s for bits of software that are peanuts comapred to what you ask for, and nobody uses anything close to what you pretend will be "most used" in less than 10 yeas for... what? Fun of it?

    I'm done with it... next you'll claim that flying cars existed back in 1985 because Marty McFly went to the future in one of them...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,436
    Most combat aircraft will be autonomous by 2025
    No it wont.
    This entire topic is a severe "wishfull thinking" burst.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Stockholm / Istanbul
    Posts
    199
    Quote Originally Posted by Sintra View Post
    No it wont.
    This entire topic is a severe "wishfull thinking" burst.
    Latencia Profecionalis

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotshot View Post
    You may be right, maybe they'll do it. It might even be possible for 1 F-35 to control several F-16s with enough automation. For a2g it would be easier of course.
    of course. all the human pilot has to do is confirm the target. at that point the computer will decide which aircraft in the swarm is the best positioned to engage the target, based on location, speed, altitude, weapons, stealth... a human can't compute that many detailed and changing variables at such speeds
    and to calculate this you need only a limited amount of data, a lot of which you can gather passively by radar or optical sensors

    Quote Originally Posted by FalconDude View Post
    One could argue that traps and mines are nothing but crude machines that already kill a man (or many men in case of naval mines) without a man in the loop.
    and the most obvious ones, cruise missiles
    the latest ones locate their targets autonomously from what I understand

    Quote Originally Posted by FalconDude View Post
    Errrr No, a raspberry pi is not fast enough to out-fly a human. The amount of parallel information that a human brain processes every second is still too much for a Pi. Just the number of channels for data you'd have to link to it is beyond the capacity of the board.
    lol, humans are no longer involved at the highest levels of the stock market trading. that's because computers there now work at microseconds, with a complexity far beyond the ability of a human to follow

    I'm going to quote the relevant parts of the article, I'm getting a feeling you didn't bother to actually read the latest scientific research on the subject
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/raspber...-sim-dogfight/

    Retired US Air Force colonel Gene Lee has been fighting and winning against AI opponents in simulators since the 1980s, but the seasoned tactical expert has admitted defeat to ALPHA, which only required the power of a Raspberry Pi to outmaneuver him.

    According to Lee, ALPHA is "the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I've seen to date" -- so much so that after flying against ALPHA in realistic battle conditions, he goes home "feeling washed out" by his opponent.

    "I'm tired, drained and mentally exhausted. This may be artificial intelligence, but it represents a real challenge," Lee said.

    "Until now, an AI opponent simply could not keep up with anything like the real pressure and pace of combat-like scenarios."

    During a recent simulated battle, Lee was unable to score a kill against ALPHA, which second-guessed Lee's every move to shoot down its human opponent during each engagement.

    "I was surprised at how aware and reactive it was. It seemed to be aware of my intentions and reacting instantly to my changes in flight and my missile deployment. It knew how to defeat the shot I was taking. It moved instantly between defensive and offensive actions as needed," he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    that one is sufficient.. so basically, LM is dragging its feet since late '90s for bits of software that are peanuts comapred to what you ask for, and nobody uses anything close to what you pretend will be "most used" in less than 10 yeas for... what? Fun of it?
    you actually make a very good point
    the F-35's software is probably the most advanced on the planet
    if you take out the need for it to translate all its data to something the pilot can understand, it would probably be able to execute most missions autonomously

    I mean according to LMT and the Pentagon it can detect, identify, track and engage targets by itself
    its mostly just waiting for the pilot to approve the game plan
    at that point there's no reason for the pilot to be in the same place, he can be in a bunker watching the data feed
    or in a stealth mission you can set the F-35 to execute the mission autonomously, like a cruise missile

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,111
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post
    of course. all the human pilot has to do is confirm the target. at that point the computer will decide which aircraft in the swarm is the best positioned to engage the target, based on location, speed, altitude, weapons, stealth... a human can't compute that many detailed and changing variables at such speeds
    and to calculate this you need only a limited amount of data, a lot of which you can gather passively by radar or optical sensors
    The F-35s share raw data between themselves to perform the fusion. They need the hi bandwith MADL for that. But it is surely possible to use the link-16 with a lower level of fusion and still be effective.

    They will surely make computer simulations to test tactics using manned and unmanned fighters. Is it better to send the F-35s first to take out the enemy fighters, and then send the UCAV F-16s to finish of the other easiest targets ( with F-35 sensor help ) or is it better to send the UCAV F-16s first, knowing they would have a high chance of being shot down ( the F-35s staying a bit behind providing sensor coverage ), and then finish off with the F-35s?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,927
    er, Sanem, you seem to believe that AI "flying" in a simulator is the same as flying a real machine... and if you're at that, it's hopeless

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Sarum
    Posts
    4,360
    However, as djcross said at the beginning, something like 2050 might be more relevant (although, I think in service by 2040 and flying air 2 ground trials now).

    Personally, I think a2a is the last preserve of the combat pilot and carries some political energy of its own -so not for more than a generation in that case.

    Refuelling, cargo, reconnaissance data relay and air to ground are all perfectly doable.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,097
    Quote Originally Posted by Sintra View Post
    No it wont.
    This entire topic is a severe "wishfull thinking" burst.


    Amazingly, I just happened to check the latest issue of Popular Mechanics at the book shelf yesterday and SHIZZAM, there was an article on this topic which used that very same date 2025.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotshot View Post
    The F-35s share raw data between themselves to perform the fusion. They need the hi bandwith MADL for that. But it is surely possible to use the link-16 with a lower level of fusion and still be effective.
    sure, the data sent to an AMRAAM isn't raw data either, it's just target coordinates
    a UCAV doesn't have to see the raw data image, it can rely on another aircraft to process that information
    all it needs is the target location, then it can engage it

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotshot View Post
    They will surely make computer simulations to test tactics using manned and unmanned fighters. Is it better to send the F-35s first to take out the enemy fighters, and then send the UCAV F-16s to finish of the other easiest targets ( with F-35 sensor help ) or is it better to send the UCAV F-16s first, knowing they would have a high chance of being shot down ( the F-35s staying a bit behind providing sensor coverage ), and then finish off with the F-35s?
    they won't actually, using UCAVs for air combat is taboo
    I read an article about how the USAF tested remotely controlled F-4s in dogfights against manned F-4s. they found that after a learning curve the remote operators would win pretty much every fight because they could turn sharper than their manned opponents. when they got in a fight all they had to do was get in a turning match and they'd get the advantage

    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    er, Sanem, you seem to believe that AI "flying" in a simulator is the same as flying a real machine... and if you're at that, it's hopeless
    good point, in a simulator a computer can "cheat" by having perfect situational awareness. as the world is digital, it has the ability to receive all information

    the thing is that the USAF and LMT say the F-35 can autonomously detect, track and identify both enemy and friendly aircraft, even visually
    if that is true you could upload a dogfighting AI to it tomorrow and it would outperform any manned F-35 by simple virtue of being able to endure more G forces or at least for longer

    but more importantly it would have total situational awareness, as it would in a simulator
    today the F-35 probably already has this ability, but will have trouble communicating this information to the pilot, who's still "only human"
    the best pilot in the world can't be aware of more than 2 or 3 other aircraft at the same time and perfectly adjust his flight path and tactics accordingly
    a computer however can do this, the F-35 probably can, yet it's being "dumbed down" because the human pilot needs to be in control

    plus as described a dogfighting AI is naturally scary to a human pilot because its remorseless, has superhuman reflexes, knows no fear...
    I've seen pro gamers hold their ground against advanced bots in computer games, but this is life or death we're talking about, and the human pilot will get scared/nervous a lot faster than a computer will, and that gets you killed

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmalaya View Post
    However, as djcross said at the beginning, something like 2050 might be more relevant (although, I think in service by 2040 and flying air 2 ground trials now).
    oh I'm sure the USAF and others already have advanced UCAVs in service, they're just top secret

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmalaya View Post
    Personally, I think a2a is the last preserve of the combat pilot and carries some political energy of its own -so not for more than a generation in that case.
    I agree. which is the problem, if one day the other guy decides to try something else
    the technology is already here, it's just a matter of someone taking the initiative

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,106
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post

    lol, humans are no longer involved at the highest levels of the stock market trading. that's because computers there now work at microseconds, with a complexity far beyond the ability of a human to follow

    I'm going to quote the relevant parts of the article, I'm getting a feeling you didn't bother to actually read the latest scientific research on the subject
    [url]http://www.zdnet.com/article/raspberry-pi-ai-vs-usaf-colonel-guess-who-wins-in-
    AI is what I do, it is my specialisation. You have no insight into what this article means. Like all those news where someone "beat" a disease and then you never hear from them again. Hold a small basket....

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by FalconDude View Post
    AI is what I do, it is my specialisation. You have no insight into what this article means. Like all those news where someone "beat" a disease and then you never hear from them again. Hold a small basket....
    then do share with us what that means in your opinion

    what this article shows is that in a video game style combat simulation, computers can now systematically beat experienced human pilots
    AI is already widely used in video games, and mostly banned because their superhuman skills make them all but unbeatable
    and that's just 1 on 1. if you go into a game where the computer can coordinate multiple actors at once, the difference in skill becomes even more evident because the computer can coordinate its team exponentially better than a human
    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/...i-competition/

    this difference was so far irrelevant because it was purely digital, but now it has been translated into real life through self driving cars
    and there the difference is telling, even based on what limited information we have
    if the game of driving cars is about not having accidents, then computers already beating humans
    http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/googles...iculously-safe

    which is a lot more difficult to do btw than with aircraft, because they have way more (unexpected) variables to consider (other cars, horses, slippy roads, snow, road holes, construction, traffic jams, traffic lights, kids playing, wild animals...) in a way smaller space
    by contrast automated flying has been perfected for a long time, even carrier landing has been done now with the X-47b
    and air combat certainly is relatively easy, as there are only ever maybe a 100 actors that are relevant (aircraft and missiles, maybe some SAM sites), child's play compared to the I'm guessing millions that a self driving car has to take into account (because there even rocks on the road are a factor)

    on a car that translates into superhuman reflexes preventing an accident which a human would have missed
    https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/28/wa...erhuman-sight/

    in the same way if you put a computer in control of a combat aircraft, it will have better situational awareness and faster reflexes than a human can ever hope to have, even today
    you'd still want a human in there for its expertise (namely confirming that that Sukhoi heading your way is in fact a hostile) but beyond that a human would only slow a computer down most of the time

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,111
    they won't actually, using UCAVs for air combat is taboo
    I read an article about how the USAF tested remotely controlled F-4s in dogfights against manned F-4s. they found that after a learning curve the remote operators would win pretty much every fight because they could turn sharper than their manned opponents. when they got in a fight all they had to do was get in a turning match and they'd get the advantage
    Anyways the UCAV ( F-16s or other ) would be used mainly to launch AMRAAMs. No need to maneuver much for that. In WVR they can use either AMRAAMs or AIM-9Xs at very short range, so here again no need to maneuver much. Maximum maneuvrability would be more useful to avoid missiles. Perhaps the F-35 can detect the missiles being fired at the drone and send the order to do an evasive maneuver.

    I think they'd simulate many possible tactics on computers and in the simulator to figure out the best ones.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotshot View Post
    Anyways the UCAV ( F-16s or other ) would be used mainly to launch AMRAAMs.
    yeah that's the F-35 argument, "the missiles will do the turning"
    the major difference is once your run out of missiles. the R-77 is said to be able to shoot down the AMRAAM, my guess is in the future every missile will have that ability (mostly a matter of programming), at that point you're just trading missiles and it comes down to pure numbers and the ability to dodge incoming missiles (which UCAVs do better than manned aircraft)
    and don't get me started on lasers, once those go mainstream they'll greatly limit the use of missiles and WVR combat will become a death sentence, it'll be matter of laser range, numbers and strength vs armour I guess?

    but as I'm arguing by then air combat will be all UCAVs and losses will become irrelevant
    so will stealth, as when you get WVR optical sensors will still detect you. stealth will be great for avoiding fights or defences, but in air combat it's pretty much useless as the enemy will ignore the F-22 and F-35 sneak attacks and just go for the AWACS and tankers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotshot View Post
    I think they'd simulate many possible tactics on computers and in the simulator to figure out the best ones.
    that's what Google Go playing AI did, it played a trillion games against itself (or variations of itself) and that way came up with superhuman tactics
    I'm guessing it'll do the same with RC F-22s and Sukhois and develop real life superhuman tactics
    the hardest part will be figuring out which tactic to use. but as with gaming AI, my guess is computers are already better at that than humans (because they compute more data faster and without mistakes) and in the near future they'll become unbeatable by human standards

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,111
    I saw that the other day:


    What I am wondering is if the F-35 couldn't have an MLU with an UCAV capability in the mid 30's or something.

    I was talking about an F-16 UCAV because it is a relatively short term feasable possibility.

    that's what Google Go playing AI did, it played a trillion games against itself (or variations of itself) and that way came up with superhuman tactics
    That could be an interesting approach to figure out new tactics, and also to figure what the next generation of aircraft should look like.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

- Part of the    Network -

KEY AERO AVIATION NEWS

MAGAZINES

AVIATION FORUM

SHOP

 

WEBSITES