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Inside the Archive: Loyal Wingman

On a day earlier this year that we can’t tell you, at a place in the outback we don’t know, a prototype aircraft without even a pilot flew for the first time – in what we can confirm was one of the most significant moments for Australia’s aviation industry in decades.

Loyal Wingman, fully unveiled to the world in May 2020, is the first military aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in this country in more than 50 years. It uses AI to fly alongside both manned and unmanned aircraft in mid-air, hence the project name. While not much is known about its full roles, it operates as a mini fighter capable of electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Or, as Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System program director Shane Arnott explains, “It is better for one of these to take a hit than for a manned platform.”

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Comments (6)

  • Walter James

    says:

    Great technology from an AUSTRALIAN company which is AT LAST being applied to our armed forces.

  • Iain Lamb

    says:

    Impressive

  • Grant Mitchell Spork

    says:

    Australia should also join Korea, Japan or the UK and build our own 5th generation fighter jets. like the CAC the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation which built Mosquitoes, Mustangs, Beaufighters and even jet aircraft we need a home grown capability!

    • denis baker

      says:

      Hi Grant,
      I have only just seen your post and would like to clarify your statement if you dont mind.
      Commonwealth Aircaft Corpoartion Pty Ltd (CAC), not a Commonwealth entity, designed & built the Wirraway trainer, Boomerang Fighter, Wackett/Woomera Bombers, built under licence the Mustang P-51, designed and built the Avon Sabre, built under licence the Aermacchi MB-326 trainer and built wings/fins/engine for the Dassault Mirage IIIO(F) fighter interceptors.
      Govt Aitcraft Factory (GAF) the former Dept of Aircraft Production (DAP) – a Commonwealth established entity, was the principal assembly agent/ licence holder for the overall Mirage aircraft project and they were assembled at Avalon Airfield near Geelong.
      Avalon was founded/started in 1952 for jet aircraft assembly and test (Canberra Bomber) all those years ago. Sabre’s then Mirage then Macchi followed the Canberra at Avalon
      Regards
      Denis Baker,
      former CAC Pty Ltd/HdHV Ltd, Historical Projects Group-Project Manager (HPG-PM)
      [email protected]

  • Roger

    says:

    The future for UAV’s in the world Air forces today is Bright! It’s good to Know the RAAF is in the forward Vanguard of technology. 👀👍

  • Zane W Keeler

    says:

    Brighton e is on board. Thank you for shar

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