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Author Topic: UAV 's The Future?
Member # 1052

posted 01-18-2000 01:51 PM     Profile for jimvictor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
What are you're feelings as to the development and deployment of UAV's. (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
Will they replace our current aircraft as expendable highly manueverable aircraft.
Will we even need pilots in the future and become obsolete?
How close are we from UAV's as a reality?.

Posts: 433 | From: charlottesville Va usa | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged

posted 01-18-2000 01:58 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Perhaps this is a non-issue for technical reasons I'm not aware of, but, at least in the case of remotely-piloted vehicles, as opposed to computer-controlled "AI" drones, wouldn't the security of the link between the pilot and the vehicle ( susceptibility to jamming, etc) be potentially an area of concern?
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Major Tom
Member # 1256

posted 01-18-2000 02:30 PM     Profile for Major Tom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
And judging by how the AI performs in high fidelity flight sims...

Posts: 1352 | From: Prescott, AZ | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 191

posted 01-18-2000 09:11 PM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Major Tom! - ouch, you make a good point. It seems AI is in fact the single biggest limiting factor for unmanned combat aircraft (drones).

However, it's been a steady progression since the 1960's, and I am confident that drones will become cheaper and more combat effective than manned aircraft within 10-20 years. In fact, I suspect that right now a decent air-to-air drone could be built. I also believe an effective strike drone could be built, but at this time only for striking stationary or easily detectable targets, not for CAS missions.

The first unmanned aircraft were target drones. Later they came into use for recon. Now drones have all but taken over the recon and target spotting roles for the US armed forces. We are now seeing sophisticated ELINT and strategic recon drones like Darkstar. Cruise missiles are essentially non-reusable drone bombers. Now consider the British ALARM. In its indirect fire mode, the ALARM floats at high altitude from a parachute, waits for enemy radars to come on, decides whether or not the radar is friendly or enemy, and then "decides" whether or not to attack it. This is a precursor to a true SEAD drone of the near future.

Progress is marching on in this field, and the beauty of it is, even relatively poor nations should be able to afford drones. Perhaps robotics can help equalize the lopsided air combat power equation that exists in the world today.

Posts: 1687 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

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