Publication:
Remotely effective: unmanned aerial vehicles, the information revolution in military affairs, and the rise of the drone in Southeast Asia

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Authors
Cassingham, Grant J.
Subjects
unmanned aerial vehicle
UAV
information revolution in military affairs
revolution in military affairs
Southeast Asia
Malaysia
Singapore
Philippines
Vietnam
Indonesia
China
United States
Iran
effectiveness
drone
intelligence
sensors
command and control
situational awareness
maritime domain awareness
net-centric warfare
Advisors
Dahl, Erik J.
Malley, Michael S.
Date of Issue
2016-09
Date
Sep-16
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The information revolution in military affairs (IRMA) has changed the way that wars are fought and won. Exploiting the revolution's core principles enables a net-centric, informationalized force to outmaneuver and defeat its adversaries. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) represent a critical advancement in intelligence collection capability, but are they as revolutionary a technology as one might expect? Is UAV acquisition without IRMA exploitation the equivalent of purchasing surface-to-air missiles without their radars? This thesis argues that IRMA exploitation is a necessary precondition for effective UAV employment, especially in the maritime domain. By examining the maritime UAV use of several countries across the IRMA exploitation spectrum, one can see that UAV deployment without an underlying information architecture undermines the utility of an unmanned asset. Southeast Asia is the world's fastest growing UAV market. While analysts have predicted that UAVs will disrupt the regional balance of power, this analysis finds that due to a lack of IRMA exploitation, the chances of disruption are extremely remote. This thesis identifies the IRMA-related deficiencies of future UAV users, and provides recommendations for increasing the chance of effective UAV use and ultimately, combat efficiency.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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