An exploration of unmanned aerial vehicles in the Army's future combat systems family of systems
Sulewski, Charles A.
Schamburg, Jeffrey B.
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be a critical part of the U.S. Army's Future Force. The Future Force will be a highly mobile, network enabled family of systems with integrated sensors and precision munitions. The Future Force will rely heavily on UAVs to provide eyes on the battlefield. These eyes will trigger the deployment of precision munitions by other platforms, and possibly by UAVs themselves. To provide insight into how the numbers and capabilities of UAVs affect a Future Force Combined Arms Battalionâ s (CABâ s) ability to secure a Northeast Asia urban objective, a simulation was built and analyzed. 46,440 computational experiments were conducted to assess how varying the opposing force and the numbers, tactics, and capabilities of UAVs affects the CABâ s ability to secure the objective with minimal losses. The primary findings, over the factors and ranges examined, are: UAVs significantly enhance the CABâ s performance; UAV capabilities and their tactics outweigh the number of UAVs flying; battalion level UAVs, especially when armed, are critical in the opening phases of the battle, as they facilitate the rapid attrition of enemy High Pay-off Targets; and, at least one company level and a platoon level UAV enhances dismounts survivability later in the battle.
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