Over the next decade, changes in computing power will enable teams of hi-tech drones to operate virtually on their own, or as “robotic wingmen” to piloted aircraft, said Werner Dahm, the Air Force’s former top scientist. At a testing range in the Arizona desert, Apache helicopters are flying together with unmanned choppers in experiments the Pentagon believes will serve as an eventual model for future warfare. “We’re not far away from having a single piloted Apache or other helicopter system and a larger number of unmanned systems that fly with that,” said Dahm, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Arizona State University.
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