The US Army is not known for having a soft-spot for aviation. So it’s perhaps not surprising that army aviators have been the fastest to embrace unmanned aircraft. On 14 April, the service celebrated passing the 1 million flight hour mark by unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), a milestone that will be feted next month with a celebration hosted by the Smithsonian.
Accordingly, the army released a UAS roadmap on 15 April that sets an ambitious course for aviation. By 2035, nearly every aircraft the army flies will be unmanned. The only two roles left primarily for manned aircraft will be — curiously enough — utility and medical evacuation. But UAVs or optionally-piloted vehicles (OPVs) will dominate flight hours for attack, armed reconnaissance, cargo resupply, communications relay and surveillance.
Read the full document.
You can also watch my video above of the roadmap’s unveiling this morning at the annual convention of the Army Aviation Association of America in Fort Worth, Texas. The speaker is none other than Gen Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the army.
VIDEO: Army aviation gets mostly unmanned by 2035
By Stephen Trimble on 15 April, 2010 in Uncategorised
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