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.

Read more

Post-INF Treaty: Likely US Military Outcomes and Implications

What does a Post-INF world look like for the United States? An ensuing arms race is likely, leveraging new tech to counter Russia and China.

Read more

Swarming Intelligence: Concept to Reality

Two decades of swarming optimization research lay the groundwork for the development of physical swarming techniques.

Read more

Using UAS in Military Logistics Applications

The AF concept of UAVs has centered on combat missions, leaving airlift as largely unexplored potential.

Read more

Trust in Autonomy

In this article, we are delving into the concept of trust as it applies to training autonomous air vehicles like human wingmen or co-pilots.

Read more

Airmen’s Definition of Autonomy

This is the second installation in a series addressing the future of autonomous aerial systems training and acquisition.

Read more

Drop Zone: What’s in a Name? Redefining Drones in the Professional Lexicon

Even though the originators of the drone did not envision the use of pilots to remotely control them the way we do today, there is a need to reshape the debate due to current rhetoric surrounding their use. The DoD and various intellectual leaders in policy and academia need to provide more nuance in what drones actually do in war and in non-war operations.

Read more