It's already in Australia tomorrow, apparently in more ways than one. Yes, it's already the 27th, but they're also working on putting together AI-flown jets for their fighters. Why did not we think about that? It's a Boeing Australia joint, but maybe they have a contract with the US facilities, and we can get one of them. I know a guy.
The aircraft under development, but scheduled for its maiden flight in 2020, is supposed to be a loyal wingman for pilots flying military missions – as you can see from their name, the "loyal wingman" official more complete Name is the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, which makes up BATS acronyms, but they do not look or act like bats, so this is probably not emphasized.
Essentially, these are drones that will accompany other aircraft, fly in formation and provide defensive capabilities. This is a force multiplier that is important to governments that can not deploy as many pilots or main vehicles (ie modern fighters) as countries that have invested more in their air force.
The president of Boeing International, Marc Allen, (naturally) emphasized this internationally capable aspect of the ship in a statement:
This aircraft is a historical endeavor for Boeing. Designed not just outside the US, it's also designed to allow our global customers to integrate local content to meet their country-specific needs. The Boeing Airpower Teaming System provides a transformational defense function, and our clients – led by Australia – are effectively partners of the program with the ability to build their own sovereign capabilities, including highly skilled workforce.  In other words, it's nice to see that outside the US, investments have been made to diversify the portfolio a bit.
A comprehensive model was unveiled today at the Australian National Airshow:
The loyal wingman is 38 feet long and should have a range of 2,300 miles. It will fly independently, but will most likely be used remotely and can be equipped with various sensor packages and other goodies. However, I would not expect them to get into a dogfight. They are intended as support and perform reconnaissance and monitoring tasks that can not be performed by research or freight vehicles.
Considering the popularity of drones as a solo consonant in military circles The "extra pair of eyes" duty is very meaningful and seems inevitable. Whether Boeing's approach will be used by governments around the world will certainly depend on execution. So, in 2020, we'll revisit this story when the wingman actually flies.