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Gregory Zacharias: Air Force Seeks to Integrate AI Functions With F-35s

Gregory Zacharias, chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force, has said the service branch has begun efforts to incorporate artificial intelligence functions into F-35s and other fighter aircraft in order to facilitate manned-unmanned teaming operations and integrate autonomous capabilities, Defense Systems reported Friday.

“We are working on making platforms more autonomous with multi-infusion systems and data from across different intel streams,” Zacharias told Defense Systems in an interview.

He noted the service branch expects pilots of AI-equipped F-35s to control and operate from the cockpit a group of drones that will work to evaluate hostile air defenses, conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, as well as carry missiles and other weapons, Kris Osborn writes.

Zacharias also cited technology platforms in the F-35 jet that exhibit early AI adoption, such as the sensor fusion system and the Lockheed Martin-built Autonomic Logistics Information System.

ALIS serves as the fighter jet’s data infrastructure that works to transmit aircraft health and maintenance data to users through a global distributed network, while the sensor fusion platform is built to collect, organize and present disparate intelligence data through a single interface, the report added.

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