The Air Force is ramping up plans for incorporating drone wingmen into its fleet and envisions 1,000 of the so-called collaborative combat aircraft in service as it sketches out ideas.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said Tuesday that the service will ask Congress for funding in the fiscal 2024 budget to move forward with the  Compound Control Aircraft (CCA) program, as well as the Next Generation Air Dominance program of futuristic fighter aircraft, so it can map out how it will operate, organize and support these new systems.

On Tuesday at the Air and Space Force Association’s AFA Warfare Symposium held in Aurora, Colorado, Kendall stated that he and Gen. CQ Brown had directed planners to prepare to purchase 1,000 CCAs potentially. He remarked that this plan would have the Air Force obtain two CCAs for each of the 200 NGAD systems and two for 300 F-35s.

Kendall warned that the Air Force’s final figures would probably differ from the initial numbers. However, he noted that these numbers are a rough estimate to help the service determine its basing requirements, organizational frameworks, instruction, field needs, and support ideas.