Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles

Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles
(UAV – The Eyes of the Sky)

The aim of this paper is to explore the possibilities of the implementation of UAV for a military operation in the future. With the introduction of the UAVs, it shows great promises, but the full range of capabilities is largely unknown. . However, will it enables the military forces to use air power more efficiently, in terms of lower cost and with less risk to the humans who pilot the aircraft?

The UAV is a remotely piloted vehicle that is capable of both remote reconnaissance and combat roles. UAVs are able to perform mission classified as the dull, the dirty, and the dangerous, without threat to the pilot’s life. (Hall, 2003) UAVs began the used as early as 1964. Refer to Annex A for a brief history of UAV. UAVs have evolved since then to become a tool for intelligence operations. In the aftermath of 911, UAVs were loaded with assault weapons and obtained a hunter-killer capability.
The technology and cost of developing UAVs and their payloads have been increasing steadily. For example, the cost of a Global Hawk with its payload has been estimated to be about US50 million. (Peck, 2003) The proliferation of UAVs in combat has resulted in the development of threat directly towards UAVs, primarily to disable reconnaissance efforts. In order to prevent the loss of increasing expensive UAVs, methods to mitigate these threats have been developed, thereby improving the survivability in combat. Specifically, the measures stem from threat suppression, detection avoidance, engagement avoidance, threat or hit avoidance, and finally threat or hit tolerance. (Hall, 2003)  
An exemplary operation environment for UAV missions is air superiority, one where the enemy air defences have been suppressed or destroyed to inoperable. If this is not possible, UAVs low observable characteristics, incorporating stealth and acoustic technology as well as good...