It is unlikely that aerial targets will be able to address fifth-generation aircraft simulation requirements, according to Kyle Patterman, Meggitt Defense Systems business development manager for training systems.
Speaking to Jane's at Xponential 2017 in Dallas, Texas, Patterman said that targets that were able to simulate these advanced aircraft would become too expensive. "If we want to make [aerial targets] affordable, do we even want them to simulate fifth-generation aircraft?" he asked.
Patterman added that Meggitt is currently discussing new concepts to address fifth-generation simulation requirements and that "new unmanned, inexpensive solutions such as quadcopters" may be deployed to simulate fifth-generation platforms' characteristics. He also said that aerial targets will most likely continue to develop to meet the demands of the market, focusing on enhancing payloads, for instance easily modifiable radar cross-sections that could change form depending on the target being simulated.
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