The Australian government announced a plan to co-develop three more Loyal Wingman unmanned aircraft. The government said it would invest A$115 million for procuring these three pilotless aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force to develop tactics for using the jets with crewed planes.
Australia is home to Boeing’s largest footprint outside the United States. The drone is the first military aircraft to be designed and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years. The deal comes on the heels of an announcement that Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force have completed the first test flight of the drone, which Boeing presented to Australia last May.
Boeing’s Loyal Wingman is 38 feet long, has a 2,000 nautical mile range, and a nose that can be outfitted with various payloads. It can also carry weapons and act as a shield to help protect more expensive manned fighter jets.