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Lethal Unmanned Air Vehicle Feasibility Study.

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Master's thesis,

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The 1991 Gulf War revealed to U.S. military planners a serious weakness in the ability of our nations armed forces to detect and destroy mobile theater ballistic missiles systems before an enemy has the chance to use these weapons at least once, and in some cases, multiple times. Since that time there have been various studies done to show that unmanned air vehicles UAVs could be used to more effectively locate these mobile missile threats. However, few, if any studies, have addressed the subject of using these same UAVs to not only locate an enemy target, but to also destroy it. Therefore, this thesis provides a survey of both recent and expected future advances in UAV technology with the purpose of showing that a Lethal UAV is both viable and desirable as an attack platform in the U.S. weapons arsenal. To accomplish this goal the reader is given a historical review of UAVs and their important missions, an in-depth overview of the Department of Defenses most capable UAVs, and a description of the sensors and payloads most likely to be used in the design of a Lethal UAV. Lastly, some possible Lethal UAV systems are presented along with an assessment on the feasibility of fielding such systems. While the primary objective of this thesis is to show that UAVs can be used to effectively locate and destroy mobile weapon systems, this document should also be used as a reference for those persons desiring an update on UAV technology and the DoD programs for testing and utilizing this technology.

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  • Pilotless Aircraft

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