The Vulnerabilities of Unmanned Aircraft System Common Data Links to Electronic Attack
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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Unmanned aircraft are fulfilling critical roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are integral in base defense plans and the protection of key infrastructure. They enable commanders to monitor activity throughout their area of responsibility and direct action, when required. Many policymakers see Unmanned Aircraft Systems as a cost effective alternative to manned aircraft and a way to prevent risking a pilots life. These systems have a number of advantages over manned aircraft. They are unbound by human limitations. They can remain airborne for long durations, do not require life support systems, do not need to eat or sleep, and they will never say no to a mission. They may minimize friendly loss of life by conducting missions that have a minimal chance of survival. However, unmanned systems also have some disadvantages when compared to manned aircraft. They are still prone to human error due to their being flown by ground-based operators. Their development and procurement cost has grown exponentially as capabilities increase. Current systems are not autonomous and their control is contingent on uninterrupted communications. Their dependence on a constant control signal has contributed to a UAS accident rate 100 times greater than manned aircraft A threat could exploit this need for an uninterrupted data feed by using Electronic Warfare to disrupt this signal, potentially crippling unmanned systems.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Defense Systems
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics