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fewindellige
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:58 pm

Unmanned fighter

Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:19 pm

Ponding what makes the grade for a next generation aircraft (aside from propaganda), to me it has to be something of which the previous generation could not retrofit or evolve into.

With all major top tier militaries operating drones (and their backbone networks) as vehicles to carry payloads, and not just just hand held devices, remotely flown vehicles are not an unfamiliar concept of which can easily be ignored.

It can be said of all the feedback allowed into the public domain that the F-35 Lightning II's avionics has been delivered (from its design stage) to allow a good pilot to perform as a great one, with ease. This all thanks to the computers on board managing all of the techniques needed to do so. In that respect, the F-35 could be perceived as a hybrid as so much human effort is negated by computers.

Therefore the growing limiting factor of a current generation jet fighters to date will be their human element in the near future, Although no human may be removed from the decision making process to persecute a target, the entire vehicle has to centre around them, so it makes sense to remove that hurdle, surely.

In less than two decades, when the next generation jet fighters will emerge, will a manned fighter jet be superior to an unmanned opponent with the same role ?
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Unmanned fighter

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:32 am

We have a recent thread where we have discussed this.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1442219&p=22059163&hilit=elon#p22059163
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Unmanned fighter

Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:30 pm

Besides the G and fatigue factor, here are a couple of observations.

How much does it cost to train a fighter pilot times how many pilots do you need?

You program an AI once and only spend the differential for improvements.

How many grand masters in Chess are there in the world? How many computers that has the capability to run the software to beat everyone of those grand masters?

AI for a fighter will be a magnitude higher in complexity, but we will get there.

Once we have the AI, putting out an airframe to maximize the capability is relatively simple. Airframe design is 20th century tech. AI is 21st century tech.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
texl1649
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Re: Unmanned fighter

Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:19 pm

The command and control infrastructure, training for personnel running the network, and ability to refuel/keep the AI powered aircraft in the sky where they are needed/effective, in conjunction with different types of unmanned platforms, is going to take the USAF probably 30 more years, imho. China, probably longer, and the rest of the world (outside of perhaps a few well funded smaller air forces such as Israel/middle east with direct access to US tech.), longer still.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Unmanned fighter

Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:30 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Besides the G and fatigue factor, here are a couple of observations.

How much does it cost to train a fighter pilot times how many pilots do you need?

You program an AI once and only spend the differential for improvements.

How many grand masters in Chess are there in the world? How many computers that has the capability to run the software to beat everyone of those grand masters?

AI for a fighter will be a magnitude higher in complexity, but we will get there.

Once we have the AI, putting out an airframe to maximize the capability is relatively simple. Airframe design is 20th century tech. AI is 21st century tech.

bt


Define “magnitude” higher than chess? Chess has rather finite rules for AI to follow. An Air Force possessing a couple of hundred late-ish generation of fighters has an infinite number of variables to use. How much time do you have in a rolling scissors or a multi-bogie threat scenario?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Unmanned fighter

Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:32 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Define “magnitude” higher than chess?


I'm thinking exponential order. With chess, you have a limit number of moves, but the AI need to calculate umpteenth moves ahead. With a drone AI, there would be more possible moves, but the they do not have to look too far ahead and when you have a swarm you get parallel processing.

But I'm not a software guy, so I have no idea the complexity or current capability.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
JonesNL
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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Unmanned fighter

Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:31 pm

bikerthai wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Define “magnitude” higher than chess?


I'm thinking exponential order. With chess, you have a limit number of moves, but the AI need to calculate umpteenth moves ahead. With a drone AI, there would be more possible moves, but the they do not have to look too far ahead and when you have a swarm you get parallel processing.

But I'm not a software guy, so I have no idea the complexity or current capability.

bt

Well, see it like this; pikots won't improve by leaps. It will be 1 % here and there. AI will improve by 20-50% every year if look at the trends of software development. So, there will be a point in time where AI will be Better or at least good enough.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Unmanned fighter

Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:33 pm

bikerthai wrote:
, but the they do not have to look too far ahead and when you have a swarm you get parallel processing


If you guy saw Queens Gambit, parallel processing equivalent of chess are those guys in New York calling Moscow with their strategies for each possible countermove.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2378
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Unmanned fighter

Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:28 am

We've had cruise missiles for a long time now, drones are coming along but it isn't there yet. The MQ-25 is a big first step, for a pretty mundane task, but an excellent role. Loyal Wingman concept seems to be an excellent approach, stepping up the ladder. Imagine the capability of a F-35 with a Wingman each side, once that is going well, then with 4 wingman.

We're going to see some successes and a good bit of failures. We could be seeing a 'jump' time like when the Jet age arrived. Fighters had a life span of 5-10 years before it was obsolete. Now the fighter frame will keep getting new AI. It is a race.

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