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Avalon 2019: Boeing unveils its new unmanned aircraft


Boeing has unveiled its new unmanned platform, the Boeing Airpower Teaming System at the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition (Avalon 2019).


Avalon 2019 Boeing unveils its new unmanned aircraft Boeing introduced its Airpower Teaming System at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon 2019 (Picture source: Boeing)


The aircraft, designed by Boeing Australia, will complement and extend airborne missions through smart teaming with existing military aircraft. Australia is investing $40m in the prototype program due to its “enormous capability for exports”, the defence minister, Christopher Pyne, said at the Australian international airshow at Avalon, Victoria.

“The Boeing Airpower Teaming System will provide a disruptive advantage for allied forces’ manned/unmanned missions,” said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Boeing Autonomous Systems. “With its ability to reconfigure quickly and perform different types of missions in tandem with other aircraft, our newest addition to Boeing’s portfolio will truly be a force multiplier as it protects and projects air power.”

The Boeing Airpower Teaming System will provide fighter-like performance, measuring 38 feet long (11.7 metres) and able to fly more than 2,000 nautical miles. It will integrate sensor packages onboard to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare and use artificial intelligence to fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft.

“This aircraft is a historic endeavor for Boeing. Not only is it developed outside the United States, it is also designed so that our global customers can integrate local content to meet their country-specific requirements,” said Marc Allen, president, Boeing International. “The Boeing Airpower Teaming System provides a transformational capability in terms of defense, and our customers – led by Australia – effectively become partners on the program with the ability to grow their own sovereign capabilities to support it, including a high-tech workforce.”

Its first flight is expected in 2020, with Boeing and the Australian government producing a concept demonstrator to pave the way for full production.