posted at 17:50
Author Name: Paul Szoldra
The QF-16 Aerial Target Missile Test Was Successful
Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have been working on converting old F-16 fighter jets into unmanned aerial targets called QF-16s so pilots can get much more realistic practice, and with a live missile test carried out earlier this week in New Mexico, they've gotten even closer. "The QF-16's mission is really to act as a target and validate weapons systems. So, we do have a scoring system on the airplane and its job is to tell us basically how close the missile came and its trajectory." The ground control station sets the coordinates for the missile. Using its on board system, the QF-16 validates that the missile hit those coordinates, and detects the distance and speed of the missile. 2013, this was the first time they tried shooting a missile at it. According to FlightGlobal, the plan is to get around 210 QF-16s operational as aerial targets in the future. While the military hasn't yet published a requirement for the QF-16s to do such a task, FlightGlobal reports that "Boeing has anticipated an interest in performing that work" and is studying whether it could work alongside the MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper drones already flying overseas. Regardless, the remotely-piloted aircraft isn't going away.

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