Australia to build 'independently thinking' drones

Boeing showed off a model of its 'Loyal Wingman' artificial intelligence drone at an airshow in Australia on Wednesday.

Hong Kong (CNN)Boeing Australia on Wednesday announced plans to make a jet drone with artificial intelligence that can act as a "loyal wingman" for manned jet fighters.

The drone's software will enable it to fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft, Boeing said in a statement on what it calls the "Airpower Teaming System."
The 38-foot-long, single-engine drone with a range of more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) will be able to engage in electronic warfare as well as intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions and swap quickly between those roles, according to Boeing.
    "Our newest addition to Boeing's portfolio will truly be a force multiplier as it protects and projects air power," Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Boeing Autonomous Systems, said in the statement.
    The company showed off a model of the drone, dubbed the "Loyal Wingman -- Advanced Development Program," at the Australia International Airshow in Melbourne on Wednesday, with an introduction from Australian Minister of Defense Christopher Pyne.
    Accompanying animations showed three of the prospective drones flying alongside a Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 fighter jet as well as an E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.
    Boeing says its Airpower Teaming System will be able to fly independently with artificial intelligence