DARPA to outfit F-16D jet fighter with artificial intelligence (AI) to boost trust in AI as a human partner
ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. military researchers are moving forward on a project that relies heavily on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine autonomy in complex air combat maneuvering that involves manned aircraft and combat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., have issued a solicitation (HR001122S0015) for the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) Full-Scale Aircraft TA-4 project, which seeks to increase trust in combat autonomy using human-machine collaboration in aircraft dogfighting.
After a successful first phase, the ACE program has entered its second phase. This solicitation asks industry for proposals to convert existing F-16 aircraft into human-in-the-loop, safety-sandboxed testbed aircraft to support autonomy development and experimentation.
The solicitation involves technology areas that call for additional aircraft hardware and additional aircraft mission systems software integration to support autonomous within-visual-range maneuvering and trust research in the ACE program.
The additional aircraft options will support ACE as well as a wider range of autonomy development needs. The ACE project also will develop enabling technologies to enhance collaboration among humans and unmanned combat aircraft in a variety of combat scenarios.