The US armies are preparing their evolution towards drone warfare before 2030

The use of military drones is not a recent topic. Already, during the Second World War, attempts were made to transform certain fighter and bomber aircraft, as well as to use remote-controlled systems to conduct short-range reconnaissance. During the Vietnam War, American forces frequently employed drones to carry out certain risky reconnaissance missions, or to bring the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft defenses to light. But the first army to make intensive and coordinated use of drones in combat was the Israeli Air Force, which in 1982 during Operation Peace for the Galilee intensively employed drones to locate and destroy anti-aircraft defenses. Syrian SA-2, SA-5 and SA-6 which made life difficult for the Israeli Air Force 9 years earlier during the Yom Kippur War. Some ten years later, inspired by the Israeli successes, the American of Iraqi origin Abraham Karem designed the Predator drone, the first American Medium Altitude Long Endurance or MALE drone, creating in the process the company which today controls the essential of the combat drone market in the West, General Atomics.

Whether in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa or Asia-Pacific, combat drones have since taken part in a large part of surveillance and strike operations in medium to low intensity theaters. The MQ-1 Predator, one ton and 16 meters wide, capable of carrying at best two Hellfire missiles, gave way ten years later to the MQ-9 Reaper of 4,5 tons and 20 meters in length. wingspan, capable of flying twice as high at twice the speeds of its predecessor, while carrying up to 8 Hellfire missiles or 2 GBU-250 Paveway II 12 kg guided bombs. At the same time, larger and higher-flying drones appeared, such as the 4-ton MQ-15C Triton with a 40-meter wingspan, specializing in high-altitude surveillance missions. Unlike the Triton, the Turkish Baykar developed the light MALE drone TB2 Bayraktar which distinguished itself in Libya, Syria, Armenia and more recently in Ukraine. Despite a wingspan of only 12 meters and a maximum mass of 700 kg, the small Turkish combat drone distinguished itself thanks to excellent artillery driving capabilities, but also thanks to a very effective light ammunition arsenal, including including against armored and entrenched targets.

MQ 9 Reaper Taxis Defense Analysis | Airdropped and nested drones | Combat drones
The MQ-9 Reaper offers significantly greater performance and payload capacity than the MQ-1 Predator

The drone dynamic is therefore now firmly established in armies around the world. However, on the other side of the Atlantic, manufacturers and the military are engaged in an effort that is as ambitious as it is discreet, in order to provide the American armed forces with a new generation of drones with performance and capabilities unmatched by those currently in service around the world. Whether it is the US Air Force, the US Navy, the Marines Corps and the US Army, all American armies, supported by the Department of Defense and DARPA, are engaged in a trajectory intended not only to integrate drone reality at all levels of engagement, but also to have drones with a marked technological lead over their potential competitors, whether they are on the battlefield or in the hushed living rooms of armament before the end of this decade.


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2 Comments

  1. […] The use of military drones is not a recent subject. Already, during the Second World War, attempts were made to transform certain fighter and bomber aircraft, as well as to use remote-controlled systems to conduct short-range reconnaissance. During the Vietnam War, American forces frequently employed drones to carry out certain risky reconnaissance missions, or to bring the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft defenses to light. But the first army that made intensive and coordinated use of drones in combat was the Israeli Air Force which, in 1982 during Operation Peace in Galilee, intensively employed drones to locate and destroy anti-aircraft defenses Syrian SA-2, SA-5 and SA-6 which made life difficult for the Israeli Air Force 9 years earlier during the Yom Kippur War. Some ten years later, inspired by the Israeli successes, the American of Iraqi origin Abraham Karem designed the Predator drone, the first American Medium Altitude Long Endurance or MALE drone, creating in the process the company which today controls the essential of the combat drone market in the West, General Atomics. READ MORE. […]

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