Boeing Australia is currently developing a drone that is meant to be a loyal wingman to pilots flying military missions. The aircraft which is in the development stage is scheduled for its first flight in 2020, according to a report by TechCrunch. The real name of the ‘Loyal Wingman’ is Boeing Airpower Teaming System,” which acronyms to BATS.
Initially, these drones will accompany fighter jets and will be used for defense capabilities. It’s a boon for countries who can’t invest big time on pilots and aircraft as their more illustrious counterparts who have invested big time in their air force.
The news was made public by Boeing Australia in a tweet on Wednesday. The tweet said:
“Revealed! Our new smart, reconfigurable unmanned system teams with other aircraft to protect & project air power. The Boeing Airpower Teaming System – Australian investment & innovation at work!”
Speaking about the Airpower Teaming System, Boeing International’s president, Marc Allen said, “This aircraft is a historic endeavor for Boeing. Not only is it developed outside the United States, but it is also designed so that our global customers can integrate local content to meet their country-specific requirements.”
As per the report, the Loyal Wingman is 38 feet long and will have a 2300-mile range. It can fly independently and will have a number of sensors and other facilities. The aircraft will provide able support to the fighter jets and will also fulfill recon and surveillance duties.
Given the popularity of drones in military circles, it seems almost certain that ‘Loyal Wingman’ is going to be a sure hit and this ‘extra pair of eyes’ will definitely mark a significant shift in the way business is conducted in the air. The thing remains to be seen whether Boeing’s innovation will pick up with governments across the globe or not and it seems like the ‘Loyal Wingman’ has touched all the right chords before its flight in 2020.