Title: Tactical Reconnaissance: UAVs versus Manned Aircraft

Subject: A study of the capabilities and cost effectiveness of UAVs and manned aircraft in the tactical/theatre reconnaissance role.

Author(s): Rajesh Kumar; Charles D Cunningham (Faculty Advisor)


Abstract: Ever since the Isrealis demonstrated how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) could be effectively used in operations, interest in UAVs has intensified. Following their successful employment on the battlefied in Desert Storm, technology has driven the development of more capable UAVs. The major improvements in UAVs in recent years have been in the role of tactical reconnaissance. In this role the UAV has significant capabilities to offer, some that are unmatched by other platforms. This paper will demonstrate that with the growing importance of information in warfare the UAV is suited to fill the information gap on the battlefield. The doctrine for UAV operations has not kept pace with the fast paced developments in this field. Their organization also needs to break out of the traditional mind-set. When employed in an efficient manner, the inherent qualities of expendibility and low cost make the UAV capable of significantly complementing manned aircraft platforms in the role of tactical reconnaissance.

Last updated 1998 Mar 10