Boeing’s Loyal Wingman has taken flight for the first time.
Built and developed in Queensland by Boeing Australia with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Loyal Wingman has soared into the skies for the first time over RAAF Base Woomera. Loyal Wingman is the foundation for Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System (ATS) and represents the first Australian military aircraft designed, built and flown in fifty years – signalling the renewal of Australian sovereign capability in this space.
“The Loyal Wingman’s first flight is a major step in this long-term, significant project for the Air Force and Boeing Australia, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the successful test,” said Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts, RAAF Head of Air Force Capability.
“There is something very special about testing an aircraft that takes technology to the next level. It is iconic in its own way,” said Roberts.
“Experiencing the enthusiasm of the Boeing and Air Force team reminded me of my early career testing aircraft.”
“This is what innovation is all about – working together to achieve many firsts,” she said.
“The Australian government’s continued investment in the innovative Loyal Wingman program will create jobs and opportunities for over 35 Australian suppliers and small businesses, including BAE Systems Australia, RUAG Australia, AME Systems and Ferra Engineering,” said Dr. Brendan Nelson, president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific.
“In addition to progressing the air vehicle design and support system, we will further develop the aircraft’s mission system including advanced AI decision-making capabilities and new payloads,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, program director of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System.
Three Loyal Wingman prototypes are currently under construction and will be the foundation of the test campaign. The RAAF currently has six on order at a cost of $115 million over the next three years. A team flight is due by years end.
For more information about the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, visit https://www.boeing.com/defense/airpower-teaming-system/.