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Watch a remote-controlled fighter jet evade a missile

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 31, 2014
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Existing drone aircraft are useful for many things, but they make for lousy target practice when you're testing missiles; they're rarely as maneuverable as modern fighter jets. Boeing and one of its customers have just shown that there's a better way, however, by firing a surface-to-air missile at a remote-controlled QF-16. As you'll see in the video below, the unmanned aircraft is much nimbler than either a purpose-built vehicle or an aging conversion like the QF-4, and gives weapons a real workout. It even managed to dodge the projectile, although you can't really say that the shooters missed. The missile was tuned to avoid hitting its target -- sensors on both the missile and QF-16 confirmed that the weapon was on track without having to blow up expensive equipment. It'll be a while longer before the airplane is regularly serving as an aerial punching bag, but this test proves that it's up to the job.

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