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AI can now pilot tactical aircrafts
  Lockheed Martin's VISTA X-62A, a one-of-a-kind training aircraft, has completed a 17-plus hour flight with an artificial intelligence (AI) agent, marking the first time AI has been used on a tactical aircraft. The Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft (VISTA) was developed by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® in collaboration with Calspan Corporation for the US Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base in California. VISTA, which can mimic the performance characteristics of other aircraft, is being used to develop and test advanced AI techniques with new uncrewed vehicle designs. By combining this approach with focused testing on new vehicle systems as they are produced, the aim is to rapidly mature autonomy for uncrewed platforms and deliver tactically relevant capability to the warfighter. Recent upgrades to the VISTA include an updated VISTA Simulation System (VSS) and Lockheed Martin's Model Following Algorithm (MFA) and System for Autonomous Control of the Simulation (SACS). The SACS and MFA systems provide new capabilities to the VISTA, allowing it to conduct the most advanced flight test experiments emphasizing autonomy and AI. At the heart of SACS is the Skunk Works Enterprise-wide Open Systems Architecture (E-OSA), which powers the Enterprise Mission Computer version 2 (EMC2), or "Einstein Box". Additional SACS components include integration of advanced sensors, a Multi-Level Security solution, and a set of Getac tablet displays in both cockpits. These components enhance VISTA's capabilities while maintaining its rapid-prototyping advantage, specifically allowing for quick software changes to increase the frequency of flight test flights and accelerating the pace of AI and autonomy development. Lockheed Martin's trusted AI technologies are aimed at helping its customers maximize performance, safety, and situational awareness across all domains. The VISTA is set to play a critical role in the rapid development of AI and autonomy capabilities for the US Air Force, with flights set to resume at Edwards Air Force Base throughout 2023.