Artificial intelligence will likely feature prominently onboard the Pentagon’s next-generation successors to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.
“AI is going to be huge,” said one U.S. Navy official familiar with the service’s F/A-XX effort to replace the Super Hornet starting around 2030.
Further, while there are significant differences between the U.S. Air Force’s vision for its F-X air superiority fighter and the Navy’s F/A-XX, the two services agree on some fundamental aspects about what characteristics the jet will need to share.
“I think we all agree that we have to work on PNT [Positioning, Navigation and Timing], comms, big data movement between both services,” the official said.
It is unclear how advanced technology like artificial intelligence might help a tactical fighter accomplish its mission. But it is possible that the AI would be a decision aid to the pilot in a way similar in concept to how advanced sensor fusion onboard jets like the F-22 and Lockheed Martin F-35 work now.
However, the visions for both the Navy and Air Force are technologically ambitious and there are differences between the services that still need to be resolved.