FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is displayed on a screen, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Boeing Co sees mass production of its unmanned, fighter-like jet developed in Australia likely happening by the middle of the decade, an executive said on Tuesday, as it rolled out the first of three prototypes.
“We are expecting middle of the decade, maybe a bit earlier that this will be in production,” Shane Arnott, the programme director of Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System, told reporters.
He said up to 16 of the Loyal Wingman drones could be teamed with a manned aircraft for missions.
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Air Vice-Marshal Catherine Roberts said the Loyal Wingman’s role could include carrying weapons in combat.
The Australian government has invested A$40 million ($25.71 million) in development of the product, which Roberts said had also attracted interest from the United States and United Kingdom as potential future customers.
Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman