The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has launched a new initiative to stimulate increased partnerships with the scientific community, higher education, and business professionals, through a series of conversations and outreach events. In the first wave of war propaganda, the U.S. Air Force has released a 5-minute video detailing how it thinks aerial warfare might look like in the next ten to twelve years.
The war video debuted on the AFRL YouTube channel on March 22 to promote the service’s new “Science and Technology 2030” initiative, which aims to close the technology gap between America’s adversaries by innovating “smarter and faster.” The AFRL states, “Our warfighters depend on us to keep the fight unfair and we will deliver.”
Further, the AFRL suggests America “can not afford to slow down,” and the initiative is “to help us [AFRL] better prepare for 2030 and beyond.”
In other words, the AFRL has openly admitted the existence of the Cold War 2.0 between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing.
In the short animated video below, the AFRL reveals the next-generation fighter jet, autonomous unmanned planes, hypersonic weapons, weaponized drone swarms, tactical high energy lasers and other directed energy weapons, and throughout the video demonstrates how an artificial intelligence-enabled network will be the high-tech backbone infrastructure that manages it all.
According to Defense News, here is an exclusive breakdown of the major technology programs featured in the video:
“An F-35 pilot, surrounded by a ring of unmanned fighter aircraft, sends several of the drones ahead to strike a target. This is the concept behind Loyal Wingman, one of AFRL’s most anticipated efforts. AFRL is developing algorithms that will allow fighter pilots to control multiple drones, and industry has stepped up with technologies that could further enable the technology. For instance, in 2017, Lockheed Martin flew a demonstration with an unmanned F-16 teamed with a manned fighter. Kratos Defense and Security Solutions has also tested two drones, the Mako and Valkyrie, which were developed for the program.”
“In the second clip, the door of a C-130 cargo bay is opened and a robot pushes a pod into the air from which hundreds of small drones detach and begin swarming around the ship. This effort, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s “Gremlins” program, aims to create recoverable UAS swarms that would be able to penetrate contested areas and provide a variety of capabilities including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, or other kinetic effects. General Atomics and Dynetics were awarded contracts for the second phase of the Gremlins program in 2017. DARPA intends to downselect to a single competitor in 2018, and in 2019 that company will demonstrate the ability to launch and recover multiple drones aboard a C-130.”
“The next video clip shows the Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, flying over a city, seemingly causing a blackout. CHAMP is a cruise missile-like weapon that uses a high-powered microwave to fry nearby electronics. The capability is being developed by AFRL and Boeing, which demonstrated CHAMP in 2013. CHAMP has been in development since the beginning of the decade, but it recently received a ton of press as a potential counter to North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles. Those reports were a bit overstated. As Defense News sister publication C4ISRNET reported, ICBMs would likely be stored in a way to protect against any sort of an attack that could impact its electronics, and its highly unlikely that CHAMP could fry an ICBM’s circuitry while in flight.”
F-X, also known as Penetrating Counter Air or Next-Generation Air Dominance
“The final capability showcased — a rendering of a conceptual design of the service’s future fighter jet — is one that Air Force leadership has remained quiet about in recent months.
The reason for that, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said, is to force industry to widen the aperture and begin thinking of air superiority as a “system of systems” instead of a single platform. Beyond that, he’s not saying much.
“The last thing I would want to do is to give our adversaries any heads up on the thinking that we’re doing on that mission set and others,” he told Defense News earlier this month.
The Air Force hasn’t chosen a manufacturer or design for its sixth-generation fighter, which is alternately called F-X, Penetrating Counter Air, or Next-Generation Air Dominance. However, the rendering in the AFRL video shows a sleek, stealthy design with a laser powerful enough to destroy an enemy fighter.
The service is currently conducting an NGAD analysis of alternatives that will help solidify whether a new fighter jet will remain part of the Air Force’s air superiority plans and what capabilities it will need.
In 2016, Brig. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, who led the service’s Air Superiority 2030 study, said the Air Force could field a new fighter jet by 2030 if it used rapid prototyping and parallel development to create promising new technologies and drive down risk.”
In order to defend the United States from Russia and/or China, the Air Force has now decided to unleash its propaganda machine to further the technology behind its futuristic weapons, with increased partnerships from academia and the private sector. In doing so, the Air Force is openly admitting that the new Cold War could turn hot in “2030 and beyond.”