Military Review

The US Air Force conducted flight tests of the F-16 using the VISTA artificial intelligence system

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The US Air Force conducted flight tests of the F-16 using the VISTA artificial intelligence system

Having not figured out to the end with the intermittent technical problems of the F-35 fighters and options for its modernization, the Pentagon continues to report on successful tests "weapons future." The American military-analytical publication Breaking Defense reports that in December last year, the US Air Force conducted the first successful flight tests of a modified F-16 fighter using the VISTA artificial intelligence system.


Test flights were performed over the Mojave Desert in southern California. The pilot lifted the fighter into the air, after which he transferred control to the AI ​​system, which autonomously controlled the aircraft for some time. Two hours later, another test flight of the F-16 was made, piloted by an alternative artificial intelligence system.

Developers of software algorithms for autonomous piloting of combat aircraft note that these tests will help improve the AI ​​system. At the same time, any software can be installed on modified F-16s, regardless of which company developed it.

The US Air Force Command reported that thanks to successful test flights, a program to create new unmanned aircraft capable of flying autonomously for a long time and coordinating their actions with other aircraft can be launched as early as the next fiscal year.

Chris Kotting, director of research at the Air Force Test Pilot School, told a correspondent that in order to change the flight task of an experimental F-16 aircraft in autonomous mode, he just needs to set new software settings and reboot the system. During two test flights, the fighters performed various tasks. The first sortie simulated situations of autonomous air combat with a mock enemy, including those who were out of sight. During the second test, the AI ​​solved the main aviation and navigation tasks.

Despite two successful test flights, the US Air Force, which is responsible for the implementation of artificial intelligence systems for controlling combat aircraft, is still mainly working out the software on special X-62 ground simulators. During the simulated flight, the work of the AI ​​is constantly monitored by a specially trained pilot, who is ready at any time to intervene in the "control" of the aircraft.

In a typical test flight, the pilot takes the X-62 to the desired altitude and speed, then loads the simulation system for any aircraft flight controls that will be used during the exercise, and runs the simulation.

When aircraft and drones under the control of artificial intelligence will be able to fully autonomously take off, complete a flight mission in combat conditions and land, representatives of the US Air Force did not say.
Author:
Photos used:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_X-62_VISTA
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  1. VasyaRules
    VasyaRules 5 January 2023 11: 36
    +3
    Interesting news. It turns out that the States are ready to completely give AI control of equipment. Moreover, not only UAVs can be used, but also conventional aircraft with equipment installed on them. In 10 years, the States will indicate from the Pentagon on the tablet to whom and where to sail and fly, but what will be interesting for us? We seem to have a lot of equipment in conservation, why not make UAVs at least from them?
    1. Bad_gr
      Bad_gr 5 January 2023 11: 57
      -3
      Quote from VasyaRules
      what will be of interest to us?
      According to the description in the article, it is difficult to judge the capabilities of this system. Our "Buran" (1988) was able to fly according to the program from a computer, taking into account the conditions of the external environment.
      (http://www.buran.ru/htm/landing.htm)
      1. filibuster
        filibuster 5 January 2023 12: 36
        +3
        Only the gigantic ground infrastructure is modestly kept silent. Well, Buran is still a project from a completely different "plane".
        1. Magog_
          Magog_ 5 January 2023 13: 00
          -2
          In order for AI to competently manage air combat, real information about the enemy in the air and on the ground is required. If the electronic warfare of the other side is effective, then AI will not help.
          1. filibuster
            filibuster 5 January 2023 13: 46
            -1
            In order for AI to control it, you must first invent it, until it is clear at all possible.
            1. Magog_
              Magog_ 5 January 2023 14: 13
              0
              need to invent first
              In computer flight simulators, such control of "doodles" has long been mastered - but the intelligence of such control completely depends on the awareness of the air fighter: the higher the level of the "doodle" - the more he should "know" about the opponent's maneuvers. In a computer, you can provide any level of such an air fighter - in a real battle you have to try a lot ...
              1. filibuster
                filibuster 5 January 2023 14: 45
                +1
                the intelligence of such control completely depends on the awareness of the air fighter: the higher the level of the "dummy" - the more he should "know" about the opponent's maneuvers.


                Isn't it the same with the pilot?
                1. Magog_
                  Magog_ 5 January 2023 15: 20
                  0
                  The pilot has his own level of tactical thinking, piloting skills and the ability to use the capabilities of the aircraft's SUV. In order for even an experienced pilot to be able to master all the modes of using weapons, training on simulators is required, since learning this in real flights is too expensive and inefficient: on the ground, you can learn to shoot for hours in different conditions of combat simulation - in flight - seconds. In the case of AI - he can do everything, just give him complete information about the enemy ... With the latter - the main task.
                  1. filibuster
                    filibuster 5 January 2023 17: 01
                    0
                    What can a pilot do if his electronics (radar, various warning systems) are suppressed by electronic warfare? What is the fundamental difference with "AI"?
                    While there is no "AI" in the industry, it is generally difficult to talk about anything, an unmanned aircraft has one huge advantage against a human-piloted aircraft, this is the ability to overload (well, besides the fact that its loss does not lead to the loss of a pilot), only on this one you can beat a human-piloted aircraft.
            2. Bad_gr
              Bad_gr 5 January 2023 14: 28
              0
              Quote from: filibuster
              In order for AI to control it, you must first invent it, until it is clear at all possible.
              And where is the line between a good computer, with well-thought-out software and AI?
              For example, the “Buran” I mentioned, when approaching for landing and having received data from the near-aerodrome ground systems, made a decision on its own and changed the route and entered the airfield from the opposite side, which was completely unexpected for those who met.
              What is this to be attributed to?
              1. filibuster
                filibuster 5 January 2023 14: 45
                -3
                The more time passes, the more myths will be around Buran. About AI "simple test", AIs "feed" all of our knowledge of math and ask them to solve/prove current math problems until no one AI has done it.
                1. Bad_gr
                  Bad_gr 5 January 2023 14: 55
                  -1
                  Quote from: filibuster
                  The more time passes, the more myths will be around Buran.
                  And on YouTube, films about Buran, interviews with designers, test pilots, and so on - this, as I understand it, will be interpreted by you as computer shooting?
                  1. filibuster
                    filibuster 5 January 2023 16: 58
                    -1
                    Well, if it was shown on YouTube then of course), I thought that there were serious people here. Well, they gave a little bit of drama that they did not expect how the system would react.
                    1. Bad_gr
                      Bad_gr 5 January 2023 18: 50
                      0
                      Quote from: filibuster
                      Well, if it was shown on YouTube then of course), I thought that there were serious people here.
                      For those who have problems with finding the necessary information, video (one of the ones on this topic with a computer) https://youtu.be/OMR8j_u7O7g?t=896
                      1. filibuster
                        filibuster 5 January 2023 22: 21
                        -1
                        I saw the video once again, 99% of the percent it was just said for "drama", apparently, based on some parameters from sensors / external systems, the "weight function" gave priority to another route, there is no "artificial intelligence", pure mathematics and TAU/SAU.
              2. Magog_
                Magog_ 5 January 2023 15: 23
                0
                unexpectedly for those who meet
                And how did the "greeters" find out from which side he should enter?
                1. Bad_gr
                  Bad_gr 5 January 2023 16: 18
                  0
                  Quote: Magog_
                  unexpectedly for those who meet
                  And how did the "greeters" find out from which side he should enter?

                  Tarot cards, dice were thrown - the result was confirmed, the final decision was made according to the drawings on the coffee. So, it's all in the mind.
              3. -Igor-
                -Igor- 6 January 2023 00: 25
                0
                Quote: Bad_gr
                And where is the line between a good computer, with well-thought-out software and AI?
                For example, the “Buran” I mentioned, when approaching for landing and receiving data from near-aerodrome ground systems, he himself made a decision

                The edge is that Buran had a backup route and an algorithm for escaping to it in advance. AI in such a situation must find this route itself and calculate the necessary algorithm.
    2. cold wind
      cold wind 5 January 2023 12: 07
      +3
      They have been making drones based on old fighters for a long time (since the 50s), like the USSR and China, there is no news in this. This program is aimed at creating unmanned multifunctional fighters. This is a fundamentally different quality.
    3. NAF-NAF
      NAF-NAF 5 January 2023 12: 39
      +3
      There will be no AI in the Russian Armed Forces in the coming years because the money does not reach the developers, but settles in the pockets of officials from the Ministry of Defense. And you will not find good specialists in the field of neural networks for a penny. Without health repression, society is doomed. At least technologically behind...
    4. spektr9
      spektr9 5 January 2023 13: 24
      +1
      We seem to have a lot of equipment in conservation, why not make UAVs at least from them?

      And do we also have bulk electronics for these UAVs in conservation?
  2. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 5 January 2023 11: 37
    +2
    The US has a large fleet of F-16s that are being decommissioned. But planes with upgrades, not obsolete for combat operations.
    They are sold or converted into drones.
    In the simplest version: kamikaze drones. They've already been tested.
    In the advanced version: unmanned strikers and fighters. They are being tested now.
  3. Boycott
    Boycott 5 January 2023 11: 47
    0
    Skynet is coming. Seriously, in the first place, the conversion of old aircraft into drones is very promising. Cheap and angry.
  4. Murmur 55
    Murmur 55 5 January 2023 12: 05
    +1
    Skynet is getting closer, interestingly Sarah has already given birth.
  5. Fangaro
    Fangaro 5 January 2023 12: 19
    -3
    When aircraft and drones under the control of artificial intelligence will be able to fully autonomously take off, complete a flight mission in combat conditions and land, representatives of the US Air Force did not say.

    If a mechanical toggle switch is needed to switch from AI to pilot, it's reliable, but the pilot will remain on board.
    If the absence of a pilot is assumed, then there will be control without wires. And, theoretically, those who hack can also manage. Programmatically.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 5 January 2023 12: 41
      -2
      There will not be a pilot on board for sure.
      Three types of software will alternate:
      1) control from the ground
      2) autonomous by GPS and photo in the computer's memory
      3) self-learning (AI) for air combat or ground strikes.

      Type: AI reports: "shot back, shot down. Switching to autonomous return to base."
      Or: "I was shot down. Hello everyone!"
      Near the base: transition to control from the base, landing.
  6. Fizik13
    Fizik13 5 January 2023 15: 05
    -3
    F-16 (in the next modification) is the only ancient aircraft that is still produced in the United States. And the rest are only being modernized, which is worth the B-52, the last copy was released back in 1960.
    F-16s will test VISTA artificial intelligence systems until 2035, only every 2-4 years the name of this artificial intelligence will change.
  7. Fangaro
    Fangaro 5 January 2023 17: 41
    0
    Please write why it was downvoted. Though here, even in a personal. He didn't add any politics, he didn't chuckle. He expressed his own opinion.
    Your own opinion is now also a rake in the basement, when you went for sauerkraut?
  8. flateric
    flateric 5 January 2023 17: 51
    0
    Since when did VISTA (Variable stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft) become "artificial intelligence"? It's just a flying laboratory.
    1. cold wind
      cold wind 5 January 2023 22: 25
      0
      Well, the guys could not translate. Why so strict then?
      There was an F-16 VISTA aircraft, its avionics were redone by adding the ability to control it by AI, now the aircraft has become known as the X-62. This X-62 made its first flight. What was the news supposed to sound like?