TACTICAL UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM CAPABILITIES IMPACT ANALYSIS IN SUPPORT OF THE EXPEDITIONARY MARINE AIR GROUND TASK FORCE USING COMPUTER MODELING AND SIMULATION
Sanchez, Susan M.
Buettner, Raymond R., Jr.
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The Marine Corps of the future is one that will increasingly rely on unmanned aerial systems (UASs) integrating directly with Marines’ fire and maneuver. As UAS technology evolves, so, too, should the Marine Corps’ understanding and utilization of this technology in an increasingly complex operation environment evolve. The most powerful measure of effectiveness for the operational contributions of UASs is in Marine lives that the UAS helps to preserve. This research uses design of experiment principles and computer modeling to simulate a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducting an amphibious assault against a peer-level adversary. Through a series of increasingly refined and focused experiments, a wide variety and range of UAS capabilities are explored to determine their impact on the Marines of that MEU. UAS capabilities explored include speed, stealth, air-to-ground missiles, ground support capability, and more. Through this analysis, sensor range and the number of UASs employed simultaneously are determined to be the most important UAS attributes in saving Marine lives. These factors are found to be more significant than armament, airspeed, stealth, or rate of detection.
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