Collaborative Combat Aircraft Need Data to Train for Combat

Arlington, VA | April 13, 2023 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, Collaborative Combat Aircraft Need Data to Train for Combat, by Lt Col Jesse Breau, USAF; Keeley Erhardt, MIT; and Maj Joshua Reddis, USAF.

AI-powered software pilots have the potential to fulfill the U.S. Air Force’s quest for affordable tactical airpower capacity; however, the foundational requirement for data to enable air combat autonomy algorithms is not well-understood.

This article addresses the Air Force’s tactical airpower data management challenge, acknowledges arguments against the importance of data for Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) fielding, and identifies four specific reasons why funding and implementing a deliberate data management plan is crucial to accelerate successful CCA development and fielding. The purpose of this Mitchell Forum primer is to offer clarity and to invite discussion about the datasets required to train CCA algorithms for combat as the U.S. Air Force seeks to fulfill its mission to “Fly, fight, and win… airpower anytime, anywhere.”

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Cover graphic courtesy of General Atomics

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