In June, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board completed a study (the first of three) that suggested the Air Force could modify the Reaper to be at least somewhat useful against a well-defended enemy The military has long thought drones to be “useless” against against decent air defenses with radar, interceptor missiles, or aircraft. Currently they only operate where the US air force has destroyed all air defenses.
A tougher and more versatile Reaper will
* be given a radar warning receiver and other improvements for situational awareness.
* upgraded ground cockpits, or control stations, to allow operators to steer drones, select targets, and fire at them,
* Drones in heavily contested environments will also need precision navigation and timing systems so they can continue their missions even when a sophisticated enemy knocks out their ability to use GPS. And the Air Force will have to use advanced modeling and simulation to develop more detailed technology program plans for contested environments
* a much wider variety of weapons can be applied based on the existing airframe size and power
* more autonomous operation
Currently flying a drone is like using Excel spreadsheet to perform maintenance while also trying to target a terrorist and hit him with a missile.
SOURCE Defense One , Wikipedia, US Air Force
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.