Making UAS more survivable

Two factors – the growing use of unmanned air systems (UAS) and the increased efficiency of the sensors designed to detect and shoot them down – are forcing manufacturers to make them more survivable.

Defensive systems that have until recently been used to protect manned air platforms are found on more and more UAS these days.

For example, the Russians have embarked on an effort to develop radar systems that will be capable of detecting even small UAS.

This effort, Israeli sources say, will not stop on the Russian border – and that calls for making both current UAS and future types more difficult to detect.

No specific details on such an effort are available, but it seems that big UAS will carry more electronic countermeasures in the future.

Another option is to operate “swarms” of small UAS, so that a few will be capable of penetrating the defended area.

“The proliferation of UAS in the world and the increasing variety of missions they perform has brought an effort to handle the threat as if it is a manned aerial platform,” one source said.

So what can we expect in the future? An effort to give UAS at least some stealthy features and greater manoeuvrability.

UAS are now more often copies of bigger manned types – and this is the real change in the aerial fighting arena.

As this effort continues the appetite of the users grow – and this no doubt will result in UAS with more capabilities. Surprises await around the corner.

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