The Effect of Adversary Unmanned Aerial Systems on the US Concept of Air Superiority
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The last time an enemy aircraft attacked a member of the American ground forces was more than sixty years ago. Do adversary drones challenge this immunity The widespread use of unmanned aerial systems UAS, or drones, by both nation states and non-state actors warrants analysis of their impact on the concept of US air superiority. The potential to deliver nuclear, biological, chemical, or conventional weapons with a UAS constitutes a significant, multi-faceted threat. This monograph proposes a framework for studying air control and leverages a case study of German V-weapons in WWII to research the following primary question how do adversary unmanned aerial systems affect the US concept of air superiority The hypothesis is that adversary UAS could prohibitively interfere with the concept of US air superiority and with US air, sea, and land operations. Two primary research findings support this hypothesis. First, the United States is currently vulnerable to small, inexpensive adversary drones. Second, the US concept of air superiority is a deeply rooted belief that sustained, theater-wide, joint, and primarily offensive operations can preclude enemy attacks from the air. These findings leave the United States with two primary courses of action. The United States can either change its concept of air superiority or commit the necessary resources to ensure continued immunity from aerial attack.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics