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US AirForce Successfully completes first flight with XQ-58A Valkyrie using AI

US AirForce Successfully completes first flight with XQ-58A Valkyrie using AI

The Air Force Research Laboratory successfully oversaw a three-hour sortie on July 25 to demonstrate the first flight of artificial intelligence algorithms developed by AFRL and trained using machine learning on an XQ-58A Valkyrie in order to lower the risk associated with the development and maturation of artificial intelligence capabilities.

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In the Eglin Test and Training Complex, test aircraft conducted the flight. The Skyborg Vanguard and Autonomous Aircraft Experimentation (AAx) programmes launched a four-year partnership that culminated in the flight.

According to Col. Tucker Hamilton, head of DAF AI Test and Operations, “the mission proved out a multi-layer safety framework on an AI/ML-flown uncrewed aircraft and demonstrated an AI/ML agent solving a tactically relevant “challenging problem” during airborne operations.” “This sortie formally enables the ability to develop AI/ML agents that will execute contemporary air-to-air and air-to-surface skills that are immediately transferrable to other autonomy programmes.”

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The Autonomous Air Combat Operations group at AFRL was responsible for creating the algorithms. The algorithms were developed during millions of hours of high-fidelity simulation, X-62 VISTA sorties, hardware-in-the-loop experiments with the XQ-58A, and ground test operations.

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