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Marinized MAE UAV: The US Navy should continue to explore an organic MAE UAV solution. This is critical not only because of Army/Navy access issue with Predator, but also because of a similar doctrinal issue with HAE UAVs. The Navy MEA UAV should survivable, longer range platform which can provide over-the-horizon and below the weather Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) and Battle Space Dominance support for future strike assets such as Tactical TLAM, JSF and DD-21.
Predator Interoperability: There has been no movement on the doctrinal issues, nor a willingness on the part of the USAF to explore solutions. Interoperability issues are being discussed at the four star level, and they must be resolved before expeditionary forces can use UAVs to support Battlespace Dominance missions beyond the short range of tactical UAVs, (100 NM and beyond).
HAE UAV Interoperability: Predator type doctrinal issues are stating to arise with the HAE UAV. The HAE UAV Joint Employment CONOPS states the need to transition from today’s stovepipe architectures to an objective reconnaissance architecture that supports true joint force integration. However, requiring all imagery products to pass through an Air Force controlled Mission Control Element (MCE) prior to dissemination establishes a stove pipe architecture under Air Force control. Although it is technically feasible to pass HAE UAV imagery via a direct down link (CHBDL) to JSIPS-N or TCS, we are still uncertain weather we will be given the opportunity to demonstrate this vital Level 2 capability during the HAE UAV ACTD.