boeing has presented the prototype of a unmanned loyal wingman aircraft to the royal australian air force. the drone, which employs artificial intelligence to extend the capabilities of manned and unmanned platforms, is the first to be designed, engineered and manufactured in australia in more than 50 years and marks the company’s largest investment in an unmanned aircraft outside the US.
images courtesy of boeing
more than 35 members of australian industry are supporting prototype work across four australian states. with a global market demand for highly capable but extremely affordable unmanned aircraft, boeing applied company-wide innovation to achieve those goals. the aircraft was engineered using a digital twin to model its structures, systems, capabilities and full life-cycle requirements; manufactured with boeing’s largest-ever resin-infused single composite piece; and assembled using proven advanced manufacturing processes.
the loyal wingman prototype now moves into ground testing, followed by taxi and first flight later this year.
‘this project is an excellent example of innovation through collaboration and what can be achieved working together with defence industry,’said air marshal hupfeld. ‘this demonstrates the importance of the relationship air force has with boeing australia and defence industry more broadly. I look forward to exploring the capabilities this aircraft may bring to our existing fleet in the future.’
name: loyal wingman unmanned aircraft
produced in collaboration with: boeing [NYSE:BA]-led australian industry team