The simulated aerial dogfights were designed as a risk-reduction effort for DARPA's Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program to flesh out how human and machine pilots share operational control of a fighter jet to maximize its chances of mission success.
The overarching ACE concept is aimed at allowing the pilot to shift ＇from single platform operator to mission commander＇ in charge not just of flying their own aircraft but managing teams of drones slaved to their fighter jet.
＇ACE aims to deliver a capability that enables a pilot to attend to a broader, more global air command mission while their aircraft and teamed unmanned systems are engaged in individual tactics,＇ the ACE program website explains.
A small unmanned radio-controlled aircraft.
The drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the top Quds Force general, showed that the U.S. is willing to take action.