The Growing Field of Military Drones


military drones

Military drones have been one of the fastest growing innovations in our current “war on terror” efforts. They’ve been around since the 1980s, and have come a long way from their early roots as worker planes. Now they are much more advanced and versatile, being used in a wide variety of situations. But how, exactly, do you use them? Well read on for some specific tips.

Military Drones Information

A group of fighter jets flying through a blue sky

Most military drones are flown by a human operator; this makes them highly versatile. A UAV can be flown by a member of the armed forces, contractors, or even the average citizen with training and experience flying anything remotely operated. These military drones (sometimes referred to as remotely piloted vehicles) can strike targets anywhere on earth at a given time. For example, if there’s an international terrorist plot happening in the middle of Africa, or in the deserts of Afghanistan, UAVs can monitor the situation and help local authorities take action quickly and effectively. The UAVs can even act as bait to draw in other terrorists.

However, military drones aren’t solely used for surveillance. Many are used in military operations related to providing air support, to provide intelligence, or to carry out strikes against targets that are on the verge of launching an attack. Here’s a related article that briefly covers how military drones are used in the above situations.

UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are fast, inexpensive, and extremely effective at what they’re intended for – intelligence, surveillance, and strike missions. They can move at extremely high speeds and can operate for long periods of time. This allows for a great deal of data to be collected from a small, stationary aircraft. The data gathered can then be analyzed by a trained analyst, often without the knowledge of the human who is flying the UAV.

In the future, it may be possible to mass produce UAVs for use by the military, but even though the United States Military currently has the only real close air combat aircraft in the world, the Air Force is also investing in the development of the MQ-1 Predator UAV ( unmanned aerial vehicle). A variant of this aircraft is known as the Raven, and it’s primary role is to hit and hold ground targets. It can loiter over designated areas for hours, searching for “hot spots” where terrorist groups may launch a surprise attack.

While the United States military has been using UAVs for years, countries all over the world are racing to develop systems and counter the new, autonomous UAVs. India is working on its own autonomous drone that can loiter over the Himalayas and detect enemy troop movements. China is also reportedly developing its own autonomous UAVs that could one day provide surveillance over China itself. Japan is working on its own unmanned aerial vehicles, which could potentially allow the Japanese to monitor its airspace. There is even a company in Canada with plans to sell you its own autonomous UAVs in the future. These companies hope to be able to provide continuous video monitoring of large areas outside of their own borders.

Even though the Chinese government is aggressively developing its own robotic weapons, the United States military is pushing back. Last year the United States military tested its own small UAVs – and just this month it was testing its first stealthy UAV. The military plans to use UAVs in a variety of capacities, from reconnaissance to surveillance to military operations. It would seem that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles will only continue to grow in both size and scope.

End Note

A close up of a green field

Will future military drones incorporate artificial intelligence into their design? Currently there are no autonomous UAVs in any growing field, but the future may bring an advanced version of these devices. One military source speculates that a future dragon UAV may eventually allow the operator to upload pre-programmed data into its system. This would allow the operator to steer the UAV in virtually any direction, depending on what the user desires.

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