The Evolution of the Air Aggressor

Current USAF Aggressor airframes lack the capability to effectively replicate the operational advanced fighter weapon systems fielded by near-peer adversaries China and Russia. Additionally, with only two Air Aggressor squadrons across the USAF, there is a lack of requisite capacity to fully support the advanced air-to-air training requirements of the Combat Air Force. Despite initiatives such as the Air Combat Command Advanced Adversary Air contract awarded in October of 2019 and plans to establish an F-35A Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, the Aggressors will likely still lack the necessary capacity to support a routine and robust advanced air-to-air training environment. These issues highlight a need to not only modernize the current fleet of Aggressor F-16Cs, but to also seek an innovative approach to acquire an affordable, indigenous, advanced replication capability within the USAF. Procurement of a 5th generation fighter-type unmanned aerial system, the Aggressor UAS, developed to augment manned Aggressors with advanced adversary replication would not only solve current capability and capacity shortfalls, but also posture the USAF Aggressors to satisfy future adversary replication requirements.

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