Future Trends

Air Force Seeks Over $500M Fiscal 2024 Budget for New Drone Program

Collaborative combat


Air Force Seeks Over $500M Fiscal 2024 Budget for New Drone Program

Maj. Gen. Michael Greiner, deputy assistant secretary for budget for the Department of the Air Force, said the organization’s fiscal year 2024 budget request includes $522 million for the research, development, test and evaluation of a new drone program that seeks to procure collaborative combat aircraft.

Greiner provided details about the CCA initiative at a Pentagon news conference, saying that the effort will involve platform and autonomy development and the establishment of an experimental operations unit. DAF plans to begin the production phase for 1,000 CCA systems by the end of the current decade, DefenseScoop reported.

Kristyn Jones, DAF’s comptroller and acting undersecretary, was also present at the media roundtable. She said the CCAs will complement manned platforms, including the F-35 and Next-Generation Air Dominance fighter jets. 

The U.S. Air Force has existing projects exploring using drones for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Recently, the service’s Special Operations Command revealed that it is working to develop artificial intelligence-powered drone swarms that can be operated by a single operator under its Adaptive Airborne Enterprise project

At the Global SOF Special Air Warfare Symposium in Florida, AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind said MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and other medium-sized uncrewed aircraft are being considered as mother ships for the drone fleets.

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Category: Future Trends