This unique ebook presents two up-to-date U.S. government reports on the current status and future plans for Department of Defense unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned aerial systems, converted for accurate flowing-text ebook format reproduction. The first, U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems by the Congressional Research Service, provides a sweeping overview of the UAV/UAS situation. The second report in the compilation is Policy Options for Unmanned Aircraft Systems by the Congressional Budget Office.
Contents include: Why Does the Military Want UAS? * What Missions Do UAS Currently Perform? * Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance * Strike * What Other Missions Might UAS Undertake in the Future? * Resupply * Combat Search and Rescue * Refueling * Air Combat * Why Are There So Many Different UAS? * Does the Department of Defense Have an Integrated UAS Development Policy? * UAS Management Issues * Cost Management Issues * Organizational Management issues * UAS and Investment Priorities * Interoperability * Reliability/Safety * Force Multiplication/Autonomy * Engine Systems * Duplication of Capability * Other Potential Missions * Airspace * Recruitment and Retention * Industrial Base Considerations * Congressional Considerations * Funding * Trade-Offs * Measures of Effectiveness * Pace of Effort * Management * Operators * R&D Priorities * Development Facilities * Other Issues * In Summation * Current Major DOD UAS Programs * MQ-1 Predator * MQ-1C Grey Eagle * MQ-9 Reaper * RQ-4 Global Hawk * BAMS * MQ-8B Fire Scout * RQ-170 Sentinel * Other Current UAS Programs * RQ-5A Hunter / MQ-5B Hunter II * RQ-7 Shadow * "Small UAVs" * RQ-14 Dragon Eye * FQM-151 Pointer * RQ-11 Raven * ScanEagle * Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (STUAS) * Future UAS * Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) * X-47B * Phantom Ray * Avenger/Sea Avenger * High Altitude Long Endurance Systems * Phantom Eye * Orion * Global Observer * Airships * Existing Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Future Plans * Missions Existing Systems Future Plans * Assessing Policy Options * Options for the Air Force Options for the Army * Missions Conducted by Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Reasons for Using Them * Glossary
Unmanned aerial systems comprise a rapidly growing portion of the military budget, and have been a long-term interest of Congress. At times, Congress has encouraged the development of such systems; in other instances, it has attempted to rein in or better organize the Department of Defense's efforts. Unmanned aircraft are commonly called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and when combined with ground control stations and data links, form UAS, or unmanned aerial systems. The use of UAS in conflicts such as Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and humanitarian relief operations such as Haiti, revealed the advantages and disadvantages provided by unmanned aircraft. Long considered experimental in military operations, UAS are now making national headlines as they are used in ways normally reserved for manned aircraft. Conventional wisdom states that UAS offer two main advantages over manned aircraft: they are considered more cost-effective, and they minimize the risk to a pilot's life. For these reasons and others, DOD's unmanned aircraft inventory increased more than 40-fold from 2002 to 2010. UAVs range from the size of an insect to that of a commercial airliner. DOD currently possesses five UAVs in large numbers: the Air Force's Predator, Reaper, and Global Hawk, and the Army's Hunter and Shadow. Other key UAV developmental efforts include the Air Force's RQ-170 Sentinel, the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS), MQ-8 Fire Scout, and Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV, and the Marine Corps' Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System.
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