SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggests that the era of manned jet fighter aircraft may be coming to a close

March 17, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. – Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla, arrived at the Air Warfare Symposium last month in Orlando, Fla., with a controversial idea: “The fighter-jet era has passed,” Musk said, provoking audible gasps and murmurs in an audience. Aviation Week reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

17 March 2020 -- Hours later, Musk clarified in a tweeted reply to Aviation Week that he meant the jet fighter aircraft remains relevant, just not the pilot onboard.

“The competitor [to a manned fighter] should be a drone fighter plane that is remote-controlled by a human, but with its maneuvers augmented by autonomy,” Musk writes.

Musk’s comments on air power should be taken with a grain of salt; Musk’s predictions about machine autonomy are often wrong, even when it concerns the self-driving capabilities of Tesla cars.

Related: U.S. fighter jets could work together with high-performance unmanned combat aircraft dogfighting by 2020s

Related: Boeing to convert 18 retired F-16 jet fighters into unmanned target drones for advanced pilot training

Related: 6th-generation jet fighters may involve hypersonic technology, artificial intelligence (AI)

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!