The preparation for the Air Force’s next generation of drones is underway.
The service hopes to successfully implement a 25-year plan called “Remotely Pilot Aircraft Vector,” which would lessen the workload on human pilots while upping stealth and network capabilities.
Col. Ken Callahan, A2 director of remotely piloted aircraft capabilities, told Business Insider on Friday that he anticipates new advances in drone technology will focus less on “ground-centric” work (e.g., counterinsurgency and counter terrorism work in the Middle East) and more on the “contested” environments of countries like Russia and China.
Col. Callahan also told Business Insider that future air-to-air superiority fighters could very well be unmanned or optionally manned. The website noted that the Air Force’s new Long Range Strike Bomber is being engineered to fly unmanned and manned missions.