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Air Force’s Greg Zacharias: Fighter Jets Might Operate Multiple Drones for Reconnaissance, Targeting Missions

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F-35Greg Zacharias, chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force, has said that fighter jets might be able to fully control a group of unmanned aircraft systems through the cockpit to perform reconnaissance, electronic warfare, weapons transport and targeting missions in the future.

Zacharias told Scout Warrior reporter Kris Osborn in an interview published Thursday F-35 aircraft pilots could someday directly use video feeds generated by electro-optical/infrared sensors onboard the service branch’s drones to facilitate targeting operations without the need to go through ground control stations.

“The more autonomy and intelligence you can put on these vehicles, the more useful they will become,” Zacharias said.

He also noted the potential use of “decision aide support” that involves the use of machines that work to analyze and transmit data without the need for human intervention.

“A person comes in and does command and control while having a drone execute functions,” Zacharias said.

“The resource allocation will be done by humans,” he added.

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