Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the Future of Air Combat

Brasher, Ensign Nathan
July 2005
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings;Jul2005, Vol. 131 Issue 7, p36
Conference Proceeding
The article focuses on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and their counterparts Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) in aerial warfare. Proponents argue that their ability to deliver weapons and conduct reconnaissance without putting a human pilot at risk will revolutionize warfare, and they certainly present considerable advantages over current weapons. The payoff of an effective UCAV system would be enormous. Unmanned combat systems may realize their greatest utility, however, as robotic wingmen for piloted aircraft, greatly increasing the air-to-ground and air-to air capabilities of a single jet. They could be sent in slightly ahead of the main force to suppress enemy air defenses.


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