UCAV - The Next Generation Air-Superiority Fighter?
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
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Air superiority is an essential military mission, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, Control of the air is not an end of its own, but rather it provides the flexibility and freedom of action central to a full range of military capabilities In the coming century the United States will confront a number of disparate and ambiguous challenges to its hegemony The resources available to meet those challenges will undoubtedly be constrained, Extremely long lead times in the acquisition and procurement of new technologies mean that now, as the F-22 Raptor begins to replace the venerable F-15 Eagle, the next- generation air-superiority fighter is entering development Unmanned aircraft must be considered as an alternative to manned aircraft for this critical mission, While cost has been the driving factor for advances in UCAV, technology has been the major limitation This thesis concludes that an air-superiority UCAV should be feasible by the year 2025 and that it should provide an effective and affordable alternative to manned air-superiority fighters,
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft