Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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8   April/May 2018 unmanned systems inside I couldn't restrain myself from Tweeting a big "Bravo Zulu" to Boeing a few weeks ago when I saw they were still in the running for the Navy's MQ-25 "Stingray" carrier-based drone program. I did some consulting work with Boeing several years ago on the Navy's Unmanned Carrier- Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program and really liked Boeing's design. It was a great plan for a stealthy, spy/bomber drone that could f ly off carriers—a capability our Navy should have had years ago. I was feeling good about my small role in their success until I read the rest of the article. Apparently, the Navy mutated the UCLASS program into the CBARS pro- gram. I had to Google that one. Turns out it stands for "Carrier-Based Aerial Refueling System." Wait—what? The Navy wants a TANKER drone and not a bomber or spy drone??? I knew immediately what had hap- pened—culture had triumphed over com- mon sense in the drone world. Again. UNCOMFORTABLE IMPLICATIONS I've seen it time and time again. Drones have the easiest time with people who know the least amount about aviation. The folks you THINK would best see the advantages of unmanned aviation—the aviators—are often the toughest sell. And it's not because they don't understand the systems. It's often because they under- stand them all too well and don't like the implications. In the Navy's case, I'm convinced they're making their first carrier-based drone a tanker because Naval Aviators saw what drones did to the Air Force fighter in- ventory and didn't like it one bit. The Air Force's MQ-1/Predator that had started out as a sideshow in the Kosovo air war General Overview by James Poss, Maj Gen (RET) USAF by JAMES POSS, MAJ GEN (RET) USAF, CEO ISR IDEAS CULTURE AND DRONES KEY PLAYERS IN THE AIR FORCE'S ADOPTION OF DRONES The Navy's surface warriors first used the Israeli Pioneer drone and then the unmanned Fire Scout from Northrop Grumman (above). Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman. Gen. John Jumper (ret.), Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael (Buzz) Moseley (ret.), Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Chuck Wald (ret.), Deputy Commander of United States European Command Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula (ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Gen. Ron Keys (ret), Commander, Air Combat Command

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