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The US Air Force just took another leap towards getting AI into the battlefield. Just last month, the US Air Force’s XQ-58A Valkyrie drone successfully flew a three-hour combat exercise over Florida.
These Valkyrie drones have a range of 3,000 mi, a service ceiling of 45,000 ft, and a payload capacity of 6,000 lbs for around $6 million a piece! Its price, however, can be further decreased if ever it moves to full-scale production, with the company estimating the cost to be just around $2 million each.
This means that these low-observable subsonic drones cost nearly as much as one Tomahawk cruise missile!
The AI Agent, which controlled the Valkyrie, was also the same agent they used to control the heavily-modified F-16 X-62 Vista last December – albeit more mature, thanks to a million hours of simulation time since its last flight.
‘PROJECT VENOM’, which stands for Viper Experimentation and Next-Gen Operations Mode, is also expected to install AI pilots into six more F-16s this month. Only time will tell if these AI Agents are more than capable of handling themselves in real combat.