Remotely Manned Systems in Tactical Aerial Warfare

by W. B. Graham

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Discussion of some remotely manned vehicle missions and functions. Military use of RMVs is influenced by four factors: importance of accurate weapon delivery; increasing lethality of antiaircraft defenses; level of vehicle and equipment costs; and present development of relevant technology. This paper points out the uniqueness of man as the preferred target detector, discriminator, and decisionmaker. The essential problem is to enable man to carry out these functions safely, not to develop machines to replace man in his best role. It describes general operational performance requirements of RMVs for aerial military operations and the availability of major subsystems. RMVs have the following advantages compared to manned aircraft: they (1) can attack much closer in; (2) present less vulnerable area to defending weapons; (3) withstand much greater maneuvering forces; (4) do not risk pilot injury or capture; (5) cost much less per target kill; and (6) need fewer sorties to make successful strikes. 15 pp. Ref.

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