Boeing's Loyal Wingman passes development milestones

Boeing Australia has recently passed two more milestones in its development of the Airpower Teaming System (ATS) for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The company announced that the first of three prototypes had successfully passed ‘weight on wheels’ and ‘aircraft power on’ milestones. This saw the prototype fuselage held up by its own landing gear without the use of jigs and the power on the aircraft being turned on for the first time.

These milestones were passed as part of the platform’s ongoing prototyping process, ahead of its first flight which is scheduled to take place later this year.

Boeing ATS [Boeing Australia] #1
Boeing Australia

The milestones also demonstrate the rapid development process of the ATS, as these latest achievements come just weeks after production of the first fuselage was completed.

Dr Shane Arnott, programme director of the Boeing ATS, said: “We’re continuing at pace toward our goal of flying later this year, so that we can show our customer and the world what [an] unmanned capability like this can do… The strong contributions from our industry team are powering our progress.”

The ATS is a Loyal Wingman platform – an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), which will act as a low-cost, attritable force multiplier. The company is producing the aircraft for the RAAF, but it will also be available on the global defence market, where other operators can tailor the platform’s sensors and systems to suit their own needs. 

Follow the link to read more about the Loyal Wingman concept and other platforms being developed to perform the role – Loyal Wingman: A Perfect Partnership?