Artificial intelligence takes down an F-16 fighter in simulated combat

The Pentagon conducted an air combat simulation between a U.S. Army F-16 fighter and an artificial intelligence algorithm, which ultimately won the day.

There have been five rounds of combat between the two fighters over the course of a year, and the algorithm emerged victorious with some confidence. Developed by Heron Systems, the artificial intelligence system participated in a competition called AlphaDogfight Trials, promoted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which seeks to improve human confidence in artificial intelligence systems.

The conditions of the simulation were not totally realistic, however it is a first step towards demonstrating that AI operates well under specific situations and that has positive prospects for future combat.

The most outstanding feature of the AI system was its high shooting accuracy and aggression in combat. Experts believe that the victory has been mainly due to its high shooting accuracy, however, there are still many battle situations, such as the manoeuvre to get away from enemy planes, which it does not fully master. In any case, this is the first step towards integrating AI into air combat.

At Air Institute we work with different companies to promote the integration of AI in all types of sectors that help improve quality and safety.