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Report: AFRL Eyes Unmanned Fighters, High-Powered Microwave-Based Missile by 2030

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The Air Force Research Laboratory has released a new video that shows the service’s proposed concepts for unmanned aircraft and other weapon systems, Military.com reported Monday.

Some of the programs cited in the video “Air Force 2030 – Call to Action” include the Loyal Wingman, Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, Gremlins, next-generation flight suits and laser weapons.

Loyal Wingman is an unmanned aircraft designed to be deployed with F-35 fighter jets to collect intelligence data and navigate through enemy territory, while the Gremlins are microdrones that are built to swarm hostile defenses.

The military branch expects the flight demonstrations for the Gremlins and the Loyal Wingman project to occur in 2019 and 2022, respectively.

AFRL partnered with Raytheon and Boeing in 2012 to test the CHAMP missile system that homes in on electrical systems and power grids through high-powered microwave emissions.

The Air Force has requested $504 million in fiscal 2019 funds to support research, development, test and evaluation of next-gen air dominance programs and plans to invest approximately $11 billion in the next five years on such initiatives, the report added.

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