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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Manned aircraft needed for future Air Force, as Navy moves unmanned

F/A-XX sixth-gen fighter conceptThe Air Force will not follow the Navy into an all-unmanned future strike fleet, as pilots will be needed in the cockpits of most of its combat fleet for the foreseeable future.

While the Air Force will increase its reliance on remotely piloted and possibly autonomous aircraft, there will be no replacement for a fighter pilot, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said Wednesday.

"Having the human brain as a sensor in combat is still immensely important in our view," Welsh said at an event sponsored by Defense One in Washington, D.C.

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