Boeing introduced the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, a new unmanned system which will be designed and developed by Boeing Australia with investment from the Australian Department of Defence. The unmanned aircraft model was introduced at the Australian International Airshow by the Australian Minister of Defence, Mr. Christopher Pyne. Boeing (US) and the Australian government will manufacture and demonstrate the concept aircraft. The prototype aircraft will offer major findings and insights for the development and production of Boeing Airpower Teaming System. The prototype, named Loyal Wingman, is Boeing’s biggest investment in new unmanned aircraft program outside of the US. According to Boeing, the aircraft will be integrated with advanced sensors to perform electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft will be enabled with artificial intelligence capability to fly alongside piloted aircraft during missions.
Amit Patil - Senior Research Analyst : Aerospace & Defense, at MarketsandMarkets™, shares his Point of View as mentioned below:
The development of Boeing’s AI-enabled Airpower Teaming System is significant since it is designed to fly independently along with manned aircraft, thus providing Boeing a key competitive advantage. The program will also help Boeing in collaborating with different countries on similar programs as per specific requirements to increase their sovereign capabilities. According to MarketsandMarkets™, the military UAV (Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle) market would be worth USD 26.40 billion by 2025, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.06% from 2018 to 2025. Increasing use of drones in warfare systems; border protection; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; remote striking; and defense modernization programs is expected to fuel the demand for military UAVs in the future.
IMPACT ON TOP COMPETITORS:
The introduction of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System will help the company strengthen its position in the unmanned aircraft vehicle vertical while increasing its artificial intelligence capabilities across the military industry. Boeing is planning to conduct the first test flight of the aircraft in 2020. Aircraft manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin (US), Northrup Grumman (US), Elbit Systems (Israel), and Airbus (France) are also investing heavily on the development of autonomous military aircraft. These leading players are also introducing and testing their autonomous aircraft. In September 2018, Northrop Grumman started test flights for its MC-8Q Fire scout aircraft. The new US Navy’s autonomous helicopter has increased speed, endurance, and payload capabilities for different marine operations.
UAVs have been increasingly used by defense forces of various countries to carry out military operations such as Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) activities, combat operations, and battle damage management. However, the use of autonomous aircraft in attack missions is still debatable as the absence of human interference in autonomous weapon systems is a possible threat. Nevertheless, through this development, Boeing has certainly taken a decisive step toward becoming a leader in AI-capable military drones and will look to leverage on this investment by generating more contracts through customers based in the Asia Pacific region.