Drone Swarm Will Fly Alongside F-35 Fighter Jet: Air Force Scientist

Four F-35 Joint Strike Fighters prepare for takeoff at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, May 4, 2016. Hill's active duty and Reserve F-35 pilots recently began flying routine four-ship configurations as the Air Force prepares to declare the aircraft ready for initial operations. (Photo by Paul Holcomb/U.S. Air Force)

The Air Force’s chief scientist said F-35 fighter jet pilots will someday control a swarm of drones flying alongside the fighter jet to boost sensing, reconnaissance and targeting functions.

Today, the flight path, sensor payload and weapons disposal of aerial drones such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper are coordinated from ground crew ground control stations.

In the future, drones may be fully operated from the cockpit of advanced fighter jets such as the Joint Strike Fighter or F-22, Air Force Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias told Scout Warrior in an interview.

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Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.