The DARPA Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program seeks to reform aerial dogfighting by implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) into high-intensity air conflicts and increasing warfighter trust in combat autonomy. Similar to how the United States military trains fighter pilots, ACE performers will work to increase trust in visual range, air-to-air dogfighting. As algorithms and tactics mature, so will the scenarios and adversarial capabilities.
During the 18-month Phase 1 award, Dynetics leveraged program advances in automated dogfighting to enable operational-level scenarios with a large number of heterogeneous aircraft. By improving the algorithms and tactics developed within ACE, TA3 laid the groundwork for future live, campaign-level experimentation of manned and unmanned vehicles. In February 2022, Dynetics advanced to Phase 2.
The program consists of three phases. Phase 1 begins research in a simulated environment. Phase 2 advances to a flight environment using unmanned air vehicles. Phase 3 includes a realistic, manned flight environment involving complex human-machine collaboration.