Military Review

Boeing's unmanned wingman Loyal Wingman kicks off high-speed runs

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Boeing's unmanned wingman Loyal Wingman kicks off high-speed runs

The promising unmanned wingman Loyal Wingman, developed by Boeing for the Australian Air Force, has entered the next stage of ground tests. According to the Boeing concern, the device began high-speed runs.


Boeing experts have moved on to the stage of high-speed runs Loyal Wingman, passing the stage of low-speed runs. The task of these two stages is to check the operation of the vehicle's engine, fuel system, braking system, the correct operation of the on-board equipment, as well as the controllability of the drone. In addition, at the stage of high-speed runs, the operation of the control center is checked.

Ground tests of Loyal Wingman have been underway since early autumn. The first flight of the drone, previously scheduled for the end of this year, has been postponed to the beginning of the next. The reasons for the transfer were not reported.


The unmanned wingman has a length of 11 meters, a wingspan of 11,7 meters and one jet engine. The design is modular, which allows you to change the payload depending on the task at hand. The declared range is 3700 kilometers. The drone must accompany the fighters as a wingman, while carrying additional weapons or other systems necessary to complete the mission.

Loyal Wingman is being developed under the Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program for the benefit of the Australian Air Force. Three flight prototypes will be involved in the tests. The tests themselves are being carried out at the Voomera rocket and space test site in South Australia.

Earlier, the US Air Force tested the gatewayOne network gateway, which is supposed to provide data transfer between fifth generation fighters and unmanned wingmen. The gateway allowed the F-35 and F-22 participating in the experiment to exchange information, the unmanned XQ-58A Valkyrie slave could not connect to the gateway.
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  1. Civil
    Civil 21 December 2020 13: 27
    +1
    The pilot controls and guides from his plane, and launches are from a slave UAV, for example. Clever.
    1. APASUS
      APASUS 21 December 2020 13: 35
      +1
      Quote: Civil
      The pilot controls and guides from his plane, and launches are from a slave UAV, for example. Clever.

      It is not for nothing that twin cockpits for the co-pilot have been made in airplanes. The pilot does not have time to fly the aircraft and control the weapons, the load is too heavy, and then there is the UAV. It is not yet known how this UAV will affect the combat capabilities without the presence of AI.
      1. Cananecat
        Cananecat 21 December 2020 14: 35
        -1
        Little is left before fiction. When drones scouts control the space a lot ahead at a given point. ))
    2. figwam
      figwam 21 December 2020 14: 13
      -6
      Quote: Civil
      The pilot controls and guides from his plane, and launches are from a slave UAV, for example. Clever.

      Whoever directs himself will give himself away and will be shot down first is not smart.
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 21 December 2020 17: 07
        +1
        The presenter flies from behind, not in front.
      2. Amin_vivec
        Amin_vivec 21 December 2020 21: 16
        +2
        Detection tools will be placed on this drone. The UAV will be visible, and the pilot on the F-35 will be far behind "in the shadow". Add. ammunition will be placed on the slave UAV.
        As a result, two pilots on the F-35 will replace a small squadron, in which there will be a UAV with medium-early warning radar and anti-radar missiles, or air-to-air, a pair of UAVs with a bomb load, and the F-35 itself will provide cover with long-range missiles air-to-air, staying behind and being the center of data collection from the UAV.
  2. bar
    bar 21 December 2020 13: 39
    -3
    The first flight of the drone, previously scheduled for the end of this year, has been postponed to the beginning of the next. The reasons for the transfer were not reported.

    Didn't take off because. request
  3. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 21 December 2020 14: 11
    +3
    "with information participating in the experiment F-35 and F-22, the unmanned slave XQ-58A Valkyrie could not connect to the gateway." ///
    ----
    The problem was the F-22, not the Valkirie.
    Because of it, I had to insert an intermediate module to transfer information. The Valkyrie has everything modern.
  4. Alexey-74
    Alexey-74 21 December 2020 14: 36
    +1
    The era of unmanned aerial vehicles is coming, every week something new is announced. I hope Russia will catch up and close the gap that we have formed in UAVs of various classes.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 21 December 2020 14: 49
      -3
      This is just the beginning. In half a year, the extravaganza of these UAVs will begin.

      Loyal Wingman prototyping contracts between the US Air Force and Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems and Northrop Grumman Systems were awarded in July 2020.

      In addition to these 4 companies, this contract is claimed by:

      • AeroVironment Inc., Simi Valley, California
      • Autodyne LLC, Boston, Massachusetts
      • BAE System Controls Inc., Arlington, Virginia
      • Blue Force Technologies Inc., Morrisville, North Carolina
      • Fregata System Inc., St. Louis, Missouri
      • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, Texas
      • NextGen Aeronautics Inc., Torrance, California
      • Sierra Technical Services, Tehachapi, California
      • Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas
  5. lvov_aleksey
    lvov_aleksey 21 December 2020 19: 41
    -1
    I don't understand why they forgot our UAV
    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1-70_%C2%AB%D0%9E%D1%85%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA%C2%BB
    for the price and quality above many !!!
    1. Amin_vivec
      Amin_vivec 21 December 2020 21: 22
      0
      I immediately remembered about it, the S-70 "Okhotnik" seems to be heavier than this. And the functionality is declared as "Heavy shock-reconnaissance UAV", with a combat load of up to 8 tons.
      Ours has a range of 6000 km, this one is 3700 km.
      Ours has a wingspan of 19 m.This is 11,5 m.
      So this will have a combat load of 3 tons.
  6. Sancho_SP
    Sancho_SP 23 December 2020 08: 19
    0
    I'm more curious, when will free hackers start breaking their control systems? Several interesting incidents are guaranteed.