AI-piloted 'Ghost Bat' could be US' secret weapon in potential conflicts with Russia and China

AI-piloted 'Ghost Bat' could be US' secret weapon in potential conflicts with Russia and China

WATCH: China specialist says Biden has ‘weakened US military’ and ‘destroyed the economy’

GB News America
George Bunn

By George Bunn


Published: 07/03/2024

- 18:47

More than 1,000 of the super-fighter drones are expected to be in production by 2028

A done that has been dubbed the "secret weapon" could be the future of a possible conflict with China or Russia.

The US Air Force said it intends to have AI-piloted fighter drones to serve as decoys to draw enemy fire before attacking.



According to US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, the unit price of the initial batch of "Ghost Bats" will cost about $20.5-$27.5million (£16.1-£21.6million)

More than 1,000 of the super-fighter drones are expected to be in production by 2028.

\u200bOne of the "Ghost Bat" drones

One of the "Ghost Bat" drones

Reuters

The multi-mission drone, named after a predatory Australian bat, was designed to act as a "loyal wingman" for manned fighter aircraft by flying ahead of the parent aircraft, seeking out threats, and opening fire on enemy aircraft when necessary.

One of the fighter drones predicted to make the shortlist is the MQ-28 Ghost Bat, developed by Boeing Australia for the Royal Australian Air Force. It measures 38 feet long, has a 24 feet wingspan, and can fly more than 2,000 nautical miles at subsonic speeds.

Boeing said on its website that the MQ-28 will offer "fighter-like performance", using AI to fly independently or with crewed aircraft and integrating sensor packages onboard to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and tactical early warning missions.

Other proposed drones include the Fury, developed by California-based technology company Anduril, and Gambit by General Atomics.

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\u200bThe Ghost Bat drone

The Ghost Bat drone

Boeing/Air Force Australia

US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the US was moving with a "sense of urgency" on its programme to produce the AI-piloted fighter drones, dubbed the Collaborative Combat Aircraft project.

The decision to fast-track new fighter drones comes amid rising tensions between the US and rival powers China and Russia, reports The Times.

A spokeswoman for the US Air Force, Ann Stefanek, said: "Collaborative combat aircraft are being designed to work in conjunction with current and next-generation aircraft to provide operational flexibility in achieving air superiority."

She added that $392million (£309million) was being invested in the program this year, with further funding expected to be announced next week.

Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Congress' inaction in approving new US aid to Ukraine is "nothing short of a gift" to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iran and other adversaries.

It comes as Ukrainian forces run short of ammunition to fight Russia's invasion.

Yellen urged House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson again to swiftly pass a $61billion (£47.6billion) military and economic aid package for Ukraine.

Members of Congress will gather at the US Capitol on Thursday evening for President Joe Biden's annual State of the Union address.

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