5th generation fighter pilots set new target

(ORDO NEWS) — For training pilots of 5th generation fighters, which include the American F-22 Raptor and F-35A / B, the Chinese J-20 and J-31, the Russian Su-57, and the Japanese X-2 (ATD-X) , Sierra Technical Services has developed a new aerial target.

Since 2006, the American manufacturer has been developing a 5GAT target to replace the QF-16, an airborne target that mimics the 4th generation fighter, which is an unmanned version of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter. The new 5GAT will be used for combat training for fighter pilots, air defense systems and radar operators – both for target detection and for engaging them. In addition, the air target will be used to develop new surface-to-air and air-to-air weapons.

The coronavirus pandemic has dragged out 5GAT trials at the Michael Army Airfield in Utah. Within 6 days, the new aerial target made 24 runs along the runway (15 low speed and 9 at a speed close to takeoff speed). The 5GAT airframe is made of composite materials, 5D Systems has developed electronics and software for the target, and elements from decommissioned aircraft are used as the main units.

At the end of October, a new air target will begin flight tests, during which they will check the flight characteristics of 5GAT, the operation of various subsystems and functions, automatic takeoff and automatic landing of the target. Subsequent flight tests will gradually expand the range of aircraft flight in terms of altitude, speed and overload.


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