Future Employment of UAVs: Issues of Jointness
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC
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Unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs and their armed counterparts, uninhabited combat aerial vehicles UCAVs, are poised to reshape the battlespace by either reducing or eliminating the need for manned aircraft in dangerous situations. How these systems are deployed--haphazardly or synergistically-- will determine whether they are truly revolutionary or merely expensive toys. The simultaneous goals of increasing munitions lethality and reducing friendly casualties can be realized by UAVs, but the approach to developing and employing them must balance requirements of both the joint community and the services. A variety of considerations portend a more sparsely populated battlespace. While generally supportive of recent military operations, the public is increasingly adverse to the risk of casualties and prefers to substitute technology for lives. As Joint Vision 2010 makes clear, The American people will continue to expect us to win in any engagement, but they will also expect us to be more efficient in protecting lives and resources. . . This expectation is one result of the Persian Gulf War and assumes that the Nation will leverage technological advances and precision weaponry to decisively defeat enemies without protracted conventional combat operations. Although this view is flawed, planners must limit both casualties and collateral damage.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics