The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted supersonic transport company Exosonic, Inc. to develop a supersonic drone demonstrator for pilot training missions.
The Exosonic drone will replace “operational aircraft” in live training exercises, acting as a “near-peer adversary fighter,” the San Francisco-based firm revealed. It added that using the drone will save the aircraft from “wear and tear” of flying as an enemy aircraft, saving taxpayers’ money.
Will Help Pilots Train Better
Exosonic revealed that “due to constrained training budgets and a pilot shortage, the USAF cannot efficiently produce new, fully-trained fighter pilots. As a result, a limited number of fighter pilots are receiving the adequate amount of live air training necessary to be prepared to defend our country against near-peer adversaries.”
The company further stated that the use of the supersonic drone, equipped with various payloads and sensors, will allow the pilots to “blue air training instead of flying as the enemy for their fellow pilots.”
Exosonic’s CEO Norris Tie revealed that the drone development contract will help them in “designing, manufacturing, and maintaining supersonic airplanes.”
Lauding the development, California’s 33rd Congressional District Representative Ted Lieu stated that the “supersonic UAV could be a cost-effective way to train future pilots and would help further flight innovation by demonstrating quiet supersonic overland travel with a muted sonic boom.”