Civil War to Afghanistan: A Short History of UAVs
During the American
Civil War, both sides tried to use rudimentary unmanned aerial vehicles.
Dyke Weatherington, deputy of the Defense UAV Office, Union and
Confederate forces launched balloons loaded with explosive devices.
The idea, he said, was for the balloons to come down inside a supply
or ammunition depot and explode. "It wasn't terribly effective,"
he said during a recent interview.
tried a similar ploy late in World War II. They launched balloon
bombs laden with incendiary and other explosives. The theory was
high-altitude winds would carry the balloons over the United States,
where the bombs would start forest fires and cause panic and mayhem.
The Japanese weren't able to gauge their success and so called it
a flop and quit after about a month.
STATES ARMY NEWS RELEASES
from Company A, 104th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort
Hood, Texas prepare to launch a Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned
Aerial Vehicle yesterday as part of a demonstration of the vehicles
capabilities for Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White.
The Air Maneuver
Battle Lab (AMBL) examines advanced warfighting concepts and technology
through experimentation, technology demonstrations, and concept
experimentation in order to determine viability and utility for
the Warfighters in the 21st Century Battlespace.
Aerial Delivery System (M-PADS) CEP
The purpose of this CEP is to examine the force multiplications
effect on brigade combat teams by providing an uninhabited aerial
vehicle (UAV) capable of on-demand delivery of a variety of lethal
and non-lethal payloads.
of the M-PADS concept is that medium sized UAVs, with capabilities
similar to the Hunter and Predator, have substantial endurance and
payload capabilities that can be exploited to significantly increase
the responsiveness and lethality of small forces. Medium UAVs
can carry around two hundred additional pounds and stay in flight
for eight to twelve hours. That two hundred pounds can be
tailored ordnance: repellants, paint balls, riot control agents,
cluster bombs, BAT munitions, SADARM, etc. The availability
of those types of loads significantly enhances the reach and combat
power of small units. In our emerging concept of employment,
the M-PADS is launched and loiters at altitude in the area of operations.
the UAV is not used to find targets or developing civil disturbance.
Reconnaissance and surveillance is accomplished by other methods
such as patrols, pre-positioned forward observers, reconnaissance
vehicles, and helicopters with or without the assistance of other
types of UAVs. Men-in-the-loop coordinate delivery of the
payload via mobile command posts such as the A2C2S UH-60 or a ground
command vehicle. Men-in-the-loop also provides the eyes-on
component essential for situations where camouflage and concealment
may be used by the enemy and when there is a concern about collateral
damage and the accidental killing of non -combatants. Optimal
situational awareness requires that the stated air -ground mobile
command posts have robust communications and linkage with
other sources of intelligence data to avoid accidental engagement
of friendly forces. BDA is provided through the cited men-in-the-loop
methods. If the payload is not needed, the M-PADS UAV would
be flown back to base. This concept does not preclude use
of organic sources of fires to meet situational needs. All
sources of fires available to the maneuver force can be utilized
STATES AIR FORCE NEWS RELEASES
Now Showing: May 13 Edition of Air Force Television News
importance of unmanned aerial vehicles and how the Air Force
uses them in fighting a war headlines this edition of Air
Force Television News.
Airman Kevin Dennison goes to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.,
for an update on the Predator UAV, while farther west, at
Edwards AFB, Calif., Staff Sgt. Marty Rush talks to those
who work on the Global Hawk program. Both systems have been
used extensively in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan.
Praises Innovation, Proposes Tanker Upgrade
said pilots fly the UAVs for two reasons -- their
instincts as to whats happening with the aircraft, and
to serve as forward air controllers. Thats why
Naval aircraft have been willing to get in the same vicinity
with the Predator, he said. When they ask the
Predator something, the Predator answers. If our Naval colleagues
think theres a little bitty pilot and little bitty weapons
operator in there, thats fine.
example of UAV success is with gunships. There (was)
nothing like listening to the frustration of a Predator operator
trying to get the gunship onto the target, he said.
We solved that problem by putting a downlink in the
AC-130. Now the Predator operator can say, See (the
target) there, in the upper right corner (of the monitor)?.
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Global Hawk Joins the Nest at Edwards
Global Hawk test aircraft successfully completed its maiden
flight April 23, touching down here after a four-and-a-half
hour initial flight test.
arrival joins the other Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
undergoing flight-testing here as part of the engineering,
manufacturing and development phase of defense acquisition.
The new aircraft arrived from Air
Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif., where it was built by
aircraft's first flight went exactly as planned, said Lt.
Col. Michael Guidry, director of the Global Vigilance Combined
Test Force here.
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Air Force Factsheet: RQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Predator is a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial
vehicle system. It is a Joint Forces Air Component Commander-owned
theater asset for reconnaissance, surveillance and target
acquisition in support of the Joint Force commander.
Predator is a system, not just aircraft. A fully operational
system consists of four aircraft (with sensors), a ground
control station (GCS), a Predator Primary Satellite Link (PPSL),
and 55 personnel for continuous 24 hour operations.
crew for the Predator is one pilot and two sensor operators.
They fly the aircraft from inside the GCS via a C-Band line-of-sight
data link or a Ku-Band satellite data link for beyond line-of-sight
flight. The aircraft is equipped with a color nose camera
(generally used by the aerial vehicle operator for flight
control), a day variable aperture TV camera, a variable aperture
infrared camera (for low light/night), and a synthetic aperture
radar (SAR) for looking through smoke, clouds, or haze. The
cameras produce full motion video and the SAR still frame
radar images. The three sensors are carried on the same airframe
but cannot be operated simultaneously.
CSAF: Symposium Builds Framework for Future AF Doctrine
Force recently held a weeklong symposium in Prattville, Ala.,
to build the framework for future Air Force doctrine, said
Gen. John P. Jumper, Air Force chief of staff.
STATES NAVY NEWS RELEASES
Fire Scout UAV Takes First Steps
Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned
Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) launched into its flight test program
on May 19, at the NAVAIR Western Test Range Complex in Calif.
has been designed to provide situational awareness and precision
targeting support for the Navy and Marine Corps, and to be
a fully autonomous UAV requiring limited operator intervention.
The system is under development by Northrop Grumman Corporation
- Ryan Aeronautical (NGC-R) and is managed by the Navy's UAV
program office, PMA-263.
Pioneer UAV Dedicated onto U.S.S. Missouri
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a Pioneer unmanned aerial vehicle was
dedicated onto the battleship U.S.S. Missouri earlier this
month, the fourth such dedication for the Navy UAV.
to accept the vehicle was Robert Kihune, retired Navy Vice
Admiral and president of the U.S.S. Missouri Memorial Association.
"Like the battleship Missouri," he said, "the
Pioneer UAV is a proud example of American achievement, ingenuity,
and might. We are honored to join the select few who boast
one of their own." Kihune also explained the selection
of this particular vehicle. "I am told that this specific
UAV was selected because of its previous service aboard the
Missouri. It was from these decks that this same UAV flew
while the U.S.S. Missouri was in active service."
Navy Announces Winner of MRE Competition
took a step beyond VTUAV into the future of unmanned air flight
today with the announcement of four risk assessment contracts
for the Multi-Role Endurance (MRE) vehicle.
potentially an organic, sea-based endurance UAV. It will be
a flexible asset capable of many different missions (ISR,
C4I, SEAD, etc.), and is potentially lethal. The parallel
MRE studies will examine missions, payloads, C4I, and aircraft
and systems analysis. Basing for the system (CV, LHA, CG/DDG/FFG)
is a study variable.
Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is a low-cost and user friendly UAV
system. It is a highly mobile air vehicle system that provides
the small warfighting unit or activity a means to obtain initial
experience in UAV operations, lay the foundation to exploit
battlefield information superiority, provide basic unit training/education
in UAV tactics, and support UAV operational concept and requirements
Go To Website.
STATES MARINE CORPS NEWS RELEASES
VMU-2 Provides Targets for WTI
The use of unmanned
aerial vehicles are becoming more of an asset to the military, and
may even be the future for the majority of Marine Corps aviation.
Flown like remote
control air planes, these vehicles currently provide the capability
to locate, observe and assess enemy targets through the use of a
small, high powered camera that disseminates imagery back to the
aircraft control center without putting a pilot in the line of fire.
This information can then be passed on to air or ground units to
assist forward assault and capture of enemy assets.
Master Sgt. James Bonner, UAV instructor attached to Marine Aviation
Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1, the biannual Weapons and Tactics
Instructor Courses afford the UAVs and the Marines who operate them
the opportunity to expand their role in Marine Corps aviation.
KBX Explores Emerging 21st Century Technology
computers, mini-reconnaissance planes and electric-powered surveillance
vehicles may sound like gizmos out of a science fiction movie, but
they are just some of the new technology used during Exercise Kernel
Blitz Experimentation 2001, which began June 18 and wrapped up 10
One of the largest
experimentation and demonstration exercises ever conducted, KBX
2001 took place offshore, on and around Camp Pendleton as well as
in El Centro and the Chocolate Mountains. It was designed to explore
21st century expeditionary warfare concepts and technology for the
extended littoral battlespace. Practical implications of more efficient,
comprehensive ways to convey information include ground troops getting
supporting Naval gunfire more quickly, and averting friendly fire
tragedies, like one that occurred earlier this year during joint-service
training in the Middle East, resulting in loss of life to U.S. service
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Help 3/14 Call For and Adjust Fire
is FO adjust fire, over." "FO this is FDC adjust fire,
out." "FDC grid 304765, over." FO grid 304765, out."
"FDC two tanks in the open, over." "FO that's two
tanks in the open, out." Then about 30 seconds later, "FO
shot, over." "FDC shot, out." "FO splash, over."
FDC splash, out."
like these can normally be heard during a live-fire training exercise
between the forward observers and the Marines at the fire direction
control center, but during exercise Rolling Thunder 3rd Battalion,
14th Marines used a different type of forward observer.
Instead of a
few Marines dug in on top of a hill somewhere, an Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle controlled by the Marines from Marine Fixed Wing Unmanned
Vehicle Squadron 2 (VMU-2), Cherry Point, N.C., gave the calls for
STATES COAST GUARD NEWS RELEASES
Aircraft in the Coast Guard's Future?
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The CGC Valiant,
homported in Miami Beach, Fla., was selected to perform a mission
rarely experienced by Coast Guard cutters. The mission was to operationally
test and evaluate a prototype Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
from the flight deck. Over a period of five days, the Valiant successfully
conducted numerous day and night electro-magnetic interference tests,
wind parameters tests, launches and recoveries, max power trials,
software calibrations, stationary and dynamic tracking, auto-return
to homebase tests and visual tracking with onboard sensors.
Integrated Deepwater System Program Maritime Domain Awareness
America is a
maritime nation. Every year, thousands of foreign-flag ships carrying
multi-national crews and cargoes from around the globe enter U.S.
ports. As a result, asymmetrical military and terrorist
threats have a natural gateway to Americas shores via the
marine transportation system. The Coast Guard is the lead agency
for Maritime Homeland Security, and has built its Maritime Homeland
Security Strategy upon the principles of awareness, prevention,
response, and consequence management.
threat prevention, the first and most important objective. By identifying
and eliminating threats well before they reach our shores, their
impact can be mitigated. Deepwater is critical to ensuring the Coast
Guard has the capabilities it needs to stop threats to our homeland
before they arrive and the effective response capability to deal
with maritime security needs.
be achieved by numerous means including intelligence, unmanned aerial
vehicles, shore-based over-the-horizon radars, space-based sensors,
maritime patrol aircraft, data links between netted forces, and
shipboard sensors such as air- and surface-search radars and passive
electronic surveillance systems.
Full Story (Word Document).
Deepwater Capabilities Replacement Project
As a capital
asset management approach, the Coast Guard categorizes its operating
environment into three regions Inland, Coastal and Deepwater.
Since the operating characteristics of its assets are, in part,
determined by environmental considerations (as well as mission functionality),
this categorization affords the Coast Guard an ability to collectively
manage its multi-mission assets as systems of systems rather than
major acquisition projects are focused on purchasing a single type
of asset or specific kind of service. For example, a project may
acquire a new class of ship, a new type of aircraft, or a new information
system. And if more than one new asset or service is needed, the
agency charters separate projects for each. The approaching block
obsolescence of its ships and aircraft allows the Coast Guard to
depart from such traditional federal acquisition approaches without
sub-optimizing the use of existing assets. And by adopting the integrated
system of systems approach, a "zero-based," more comprehensive
Deepwater mission analysis was possible.
capabilities were defined without compromising the ingenuity and
creativity of the Deepwater industry teams. By emphasizing fundamental
mission performance requirements instead of specific asset capability
requirements, industry may consider extending the service lives
of existing Coast Guard assets or using ex-Navy assets, use of unmanned
aerial vehicles, automated propulsion and auxiliary systems, applying
advanced new multi-hull ship designs, changing operational paradigms
including multiple-crewing concepts, and a host of other proven,
but non-developmental technologies and processesas long as
they meet the mission-based requirements of the SPS. Industrys
competitive challenge is to maximize the complete system's performance
while keeping costs low.