Last week, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), an American military aeronautics contractor, successfully executed tactical flying maneuvers with its MQ-20 Avenger drone using artificial intelligence (AI) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication (SATCOM).

In a press release statement, GA-ASI said that it conducted the flight test using its “live, virtual, constructive collaborative combat aircraft ecosystem over a [LEO SATCOM] provider’s IP-based Mission Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) datalink” on April 6, 2023.

The company demonstrated joint capability between AI and human pilots in controlling the MQ-20 unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Likewise, it highlighted the connection that allowed machine learning to rapidly “retain and redeploy” as it executes combat maneuvers in real time.

The trial also marked the first LEO SATCOM provider link deployment on an operationally relevant combat UAS platform.