Applications for Navy Unmanned Aircraft Systems
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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There has been tremendous growth in demand for unmanned aircraft systems UASs by the United States military since 2001. The United States Navy is making large investments in a number of major UAS programs, including Broad Area Maritime Surveillance BAMS UAS, the Unmanned Combat Aircraft System Demonstrator UCAS-D, the Fire Scout vertical takeofflanding tactical UAS VTUAS, and the Small TacticalTier II UAS STUASTier II UAS. Navy OPNAV N81 asked RAND to provide an evaluation of the Navys ongoing and proposed UAS programs and to describe the most promising applications of UAS to operational tasks. These assessments were to include arguments for and against using manned vehicles to perform the same tasks as unmanned vehicles, where appropriate. Completed in September 2008, the study does not provide an exhaustive look at all DoD missions for UAS. It does, however, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of manned and unmanned aircraft for certain missions of importance to the Navy. We emphasized traditional Navy missions rather than Navy contributions to irregular warfare, though we examined a few nontraditional missions, such as counter-piracy.
- Pilotless Aircraft