The Army’s new drone-based initiative to safeguard the battlefield.
Drones supplied critical information and precision-strike capacity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other regions of the Middle East. Through a comprehensive review of previous battle data, one unit was able to boost its accuracy by approximately 20%. If the United States is obliged to engage a conventional foe, it will not have the luxury of learning through months or years of steady-state combat operations. To assure their preparedness to tackle new enemies and tasks, the U.S. and its allies should increase their drone capabilities via multi-domain training. In 2021, an MQ-9 Reaper killed ten people the military thought to be a hostile danger, even though intelligence officials knew they were not.
In 1999, Serbian troops used a 40-year-old SA-3 to shoot down an F-117 stealth bomber enabled by NATO intelligence and operational security failures. Due to the TB-2’s slow speed and peculiar radar cross-section, Russian air defense systems in Ukraine have had difficulty engaging it. Utilizing the improved capabilities of its drones, the United States may offer a tenfold more complex situation. With more “attributable” drones, which are meant to be disposable, the United States may boost its capacity to overwhelm an adversary’s air defenses. The datalinks used to operate military drones are known to be vulnerable to an enemy with electronic warfare capabilities.
The United States must invest time and money to develop operational proficiency across unmanned aircraft, space, and cyber capabilities. In the aftermath of drawdowns in the Middle East, the United States has the option to prepare its drones for future battles by allocating resources. The company cannot continue with the same lack of training, command, and control as in the previous two decades. Integration of live and virtual training with other military capabilities is required to guarantee unmanned aircraft are combat-ready on the first day of the war. Human operators will always need training, and without a purposeful program to assure their readiness, the United States risks losing its unmanned airpower dominance.