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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Uninhabited combat aerial vehicles in 2015: providing utility across the spectrum

The purpose of this monograph is to prove that by 2015 uninhabited combat aerial vehicles will have reached a level of capability at which they will be of utility to the joint force commander. This is important to the military to understand because the United States Air Force is going to begin fielding uninhabited combat aerial vehicles in large numbers by that time. Because these uninhabited combat aerial vehicles are going to end up augmenting or replacing other weapon systems in the joint combatant commander’s list of force options, the United States military needs to know if they will be useful. The United Stated military must be ready for the future-operating environment predicted by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Staff. In order to do this, the Joint Staff has enumerated five required capabilities if joint forces in the near future: rapid global projection; forcible entry into a joint operations area; immediate and synchronized employment of scaleable joint forces tailored to conduct simultaneously a broad range of joint military operations utilizing unified action; sustainment for extended periods in an austere environment or under anti-access or area denial conditions; and continuous joint C4ISR employment and knowledge generation fusion. Additionally, given the world environment, the author has added two capabilities which will be of great benefit to the joint combatant commander: the ability to employ a weapons system in diplomatically sensitive situations and the capability to execute a portion of the theater missile defense mission. This makes a list of seven capabilities which are the criteria that define whether the uninhabited combat aerial vehicle will be of utility to the joint combatant commander. The uninhabited combat aerial vehicle will be capable of all of those missions by 2015. The author concludes that not only will uninhabited combat aerial vehicles be of utility, but they will be highly sought after. Because of this predicted increase in interest in and dependence on UCAVs, the United States military must be ready to employ these UCAVs properly by: first,educating joint force commanders and planners about their increasing capabilities and inherent limitations and, second, ensuring their integration into the common operational picture systems and tactical data links of the near future.

Date of Report: June 6, 2012
Number of Pages: 55
Order Number: G1879
Price: $19.95

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