Pentagon Trying to Develop Low-Cost AI-Guided Drones

Are they trying to develop smaller targets as well? Like, mini warships? Submarine cargo ships?

Because that’s the only way the drones would really be capable of responding to the current drone army being deployed against the US military.

New York Post:

The Pentagon will look to develop new artificial intelligence-guided planes, offering two contracts that several private companies have been competing to obtain.

The Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) project is part of a $6 billion program that will add at least 1,000 new drones to the U.S. Air Force.

These drones would deploy alongside human-piloted jets and provide cover for them, acting as escorts with full weapons capabilities that could also act as scouts or communications hubs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics and Anduril Industries have all taken up the challenge. General Atomics supplied the Reaper and Predator drones the U.S. has deployed in numerous campaigns in the Middle East, and Anduril is a newcomer to the field, founded in 2017 by inventor Palmer Luckey, an entrepreneur who founded Oculus VR.

Boeing is the only company that has shown off its entrant, known as the Ghost Bat. It’s between 20 and 30 feet in length and is able to fly just below the speed of sound and travel more than 2,000 nautical miles.

The plane is designed to work with existing military aircraft and “complement and extend airborne missions,” according to an overview on Boeing’s website.

Other features of the plane include “tactical early warning” and other intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, but the highlight, according to the manufacturer, is the “low-cost design.”

Cost-cutting is one element of AI that appeals to the Pentagon in pursuing this project.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks in August 2023 said deployed AI-enabled autonomous vehicles would provide “small, smart, cheap and many” expendable units to the U.S. military, helping overhaul the “too-slow shift of U.S. military innovation.”

This sort of project would take decades to implement.

The US will continue spending billions to impotently respond to cheap Chinese drones.