The US Air Force is exploring how it can benefit from artificial intelligence technologies. In a test carried out, the VISTA X-62A fighter trainer was flown for more than 17 hours under artificial intelligence control.
The US Air Force (USAF), in conjunction with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division and Calspan Corporation, flew over 17 hours aboard the VISTA X-62A, a modular test version of the F-16 fighter. What made the flight different was that the F-16 was controlled by an artificial intelligence system.
Lockheed Martin’s VISTA X-62A fighter trainer has been recorded as the first tactical aircraft to be controlled by artificial intelligence. Thanks to its open architecture, the test aircraft, which can quickly adapt new modular software, has been used at Edwards Air Force Base for nearly 20 years.
Focused on Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Flight
The aircraft, formerly the NF-16D, is equipped with the updated VISTA Simulation System (VSS) from Calspan and Lockheed Martin’s Model Tracking Algorithm (MFA) and Autonomous Simulation Control System (SACS). These technologies give the aircraft new capabilities based on autonomous and artificial intelligence.
The US Air Force aims to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence and autonomous flight. The VISTA program is considered very important for this. The AI flight, which lasted more than 17 hours, was carried out as part of a series of tests that began in December.