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The Latest Pentagon Budget Request Includes Developing Uncrewed Fighter-Like Drones

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

The Pentagon's latest budget request includes $1.8 billion for the development of uncrewed fighter-like drones, such as the Boeing MQ-28 Ghost Bat. These drones are designed to work alongside manned aircraft, providing a variety of capabilities, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); electronic warfare; and air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.


The development of uncrewed fighter-like drones is part of the Pentagon's effort to modernize its air force and maintain its technological edge over potential adversaries. The drones are seen as a way to reduce the risk to pilots and to increase the number of aircraft that can be deployed in a given conflict.


The MQ-28 Ghost Bat is one of several uncrewed fighter-like drones that are currently in development. The drone is designed to be a "loyal wingman" for manned aircraft, meaning that it would fly alongside and support manned aircraft in combat. The MQ-28 is equipped with a variety of sensors and weapons, and it can be used for a variety of missions, including ISR, electronic warfare, and air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.


The development of uncrewed fighter-like drones is a significant development in the evolution of military aviation. These drones have the potential to revolutionize the way that air wars are fought. By reducing the risk to pilots and increasing the number of aircraft that can be deployed, uncrewed fighter-like drones could give the United States and its allies a significant advantage over potential adversaries.


The development of uncrewed fighter-like drones is also raising a number of ethical and legal concerns. Some experts have raised concerns about the potential for these drones to be used for targeted killing or other controversial missions. Others have raised concerns about the potential for these drones to be hacked or used by malicious actors.


Despite these concerns, the development of uncrewed fighter-like drones is likely to continue. These drones have the potential to revolutionize the way that air wars are fought, and they are likely to play an increasingly important role in the future of military aviation.

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