The United States Air Force (USAF) will face several difficult choices as it procures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the near future. Decreasing budgets and increasing UAV costs will significantly impact the Air Force's ability to procure large numbers of "high cost" UAVs. As defense dollars shrink, so will the robustness of the USAF's UAV fleet. In addition, these low density assets will operate in a more lethal battlefield environment brought about by the rapid advancement of dual use technologies and the worldwide proliferation of advanced Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS). Unlike Afghanistan and Iraq, future enemy IADS could render "high cost" conventional UAVs, such as the Predator and Global Hawk, unviable from an operational risk perspective. However, technological advances and new operational concepts, such as cooperative behavior and swarming, are expanding the capabilities of micro and small UAVs and providing the Air Force with a low cost solution to this potential problem. In the future, these small unmanned vehicles will perform many missions once reserved for large high cost UAVs. Procured in large numbers and at a fraction of the cost of today's UAVs, micro and small UAVs will be effective force multipliers for the USAF in the future.
  • ISBN13: 9781288291076
  • Publisher: Biblioscholar
  • Pubilcation Year: 2012
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 00052
Publication DateNovember 13, 2012
Primary CategoryEducation/General

Small Power: The Role of Micro and Small Uavs in the Future

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