Air Force AI dogfight means tech could replace Maverick vs. China

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Fulfilling a bold promise to the Senate, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall put himself in the cockpit and let AI take over and fly an F-16 through an hour of aerial engagements and dogfights near Edwards Air Force Base, California.  

There’s just one reason Kendall, age 74, a West Point graduate and career Army officer, took that flight. 

Deterring China. America’s top priority right now is to make sure the U.S., not China, leads in AI. The U.S. Air Force just took a big step in the right direction.  

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Not that it wasn’t fun. Judging from the big smile on Kendall’s face, it was a heck of a flight.  

This image from remote video released by the U.S. Air Force shows Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall during his experimental flight inside the cockpit of a X-62A VISTA aircraft autonomous warplane above Edwards Air Base, Calif, on Thursday, May 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

To be clear, the highly modified F-16 known as the X-62 Vista was a two-seat version with a highly experienced pilot in

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