robotic wingmen

Then Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, smiles in his F-22 Raptor before his final flight as commander of the Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Region and Eleventh Air Force, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 20, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Peña)

Pacific Air Forces working through operating concepts for robotic wingmen

The Air Force plans to field new drones, or “collaborative combat aircraft,” to serve as force multipliers and keep pilots out of harm’s way.
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., speaks with Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Royal Air Force Chief of the Air Staff, during a trilateral meeting that also included Gen. Stéphane Mille, French Air and Space Force Chief of Staff, at RAF Fairford, England, July 15, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eugene Oliver)

Air Force eyeing potential allied contributions of robotic wingmen

Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown sees unmanned collaborative combat aircraft as the wave of the future.
An XQ-58A Valkyrie low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle launches at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., Dec. 9, 2020. The flight successfully demonstrated the ability of new communications data to exchange information with an F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua King)

Air Force considering wide range of options to team robotic wingmen with other platforms

The Air Force plans to develop “collaborative combat aircraft” in the coming years and link them with crewed systems.