The Gambit combat drone opens a new era in air warfare

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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has unveiled its latest jet-powered drone, the Gambit, which uses artificial intelligence and autonomous systems to fly alongside human-led fighters and gain air superiority.

General Atomics is best known for its drones, such as the SkyGuardian or the Mojave, which can ‘hover’ over an area for very long periods, either for reconnaissance or waiting for a signal to fire missiles at a ground target (such as Hellfire ).

Now the company has joined developers such as Boeing and Kratos in the market to build a full-fledged combat drone. These devices have the lines and performance of a fighter jet. According to GA-ASI President David R. Alexander, the Gambit is an autonomous cooperative platform (ACP), a flying team partner that works with unmanned aircraft to penetrate combat zones to detect, identify and target adversaries before they can pose a threat to their human-controlled counterparts. This way, fewer lives are at risk and more time is bought for critical decision-making.

“We are now once again pushing the boundaries of what is possible with unmanned aircraft, software, mission systems integration and more. Gambit will usher in a new era where unmanned aircraft work in collaboration with other aircraft to detect, identify and target adversaries across the battlefield, with the same range and scale,” said Alexander

The Gambit uses artificial intelligence and can perform many tasks autonomously based on information from the operator. It will be able to take the initiative and autonomously execute missions, not only for combat purposes, but also for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, while disseminating the information gathered to all relevant units. Gambit has been designed with digital planning to help keep costs down and minimise the time from drawing board to delivery.


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