Title: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: A Brief Look At The United States UAV-RPA Strategic Vision
Authors: Raul Colon
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V. The Near Future

The future role of the UAV and RPA platforms are as limited as their manned counterparts. Future UAV systems will be capable of not only performing ISR missions, but targeting pin, and spectrum data collection. New onboard sensors will allow the platforms to perform current-time battle assessment, some systems will carry a blue force tracking system, enable them to recognize friend or foe assets. All platforms will be able to perform communication bridges between operational package systems, thus dramatically reducing the time data is transfer from platform to platform. All of these newly incorporated profiles will not subtract from the UAV main operational objective, vast data collection.

The area which holds to our imagination and provides the greatest potential is the arming of the UAV and RPA platforms. This alternative will provide the military with a low cost, low risk alternative to a manned aircraft mission. Either operating as part as a manned-unmanned strike envelop, or as stand-alone platform, the UVA will have ability to suppress enemy air defenses by the employment of kinetic and non-kinetic weapon systems. They can capitalize on their low observable characteristic and long endurance profiles in order to hunt and destroy time-sensitive enemy targets. The third generations of UAV platforms are likely to be able to carry a more diverse offensive and defensive payload, providing field commanders with an added current-time retaliation option. Unmanned systems will also be deployed for psychological operations. They can broadcast radio signals to enemy troops as well as deliver propaganda leaflets. They also will conduct high-risk, electronic suppression missions deep inside the enemy’s airspace; decoys missions are also planned for the UAV, all in an effort to disable the enemy’s ability to track incoming manned packages. What the future holds for the UAV and RPA systems, is almost the same we once thought about manned aviation, technology just need to catch up with ideas and concepts.

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