Will it be manned or unmanned aircraft’s to shape the future of aerial combat? This question has been at the forefront of U.S. Defence Department and the Air Force ever since DARPA drones took the sky to carry out great untested ideas. Drones with their advanced intelligence, surveillance, weaponry and technical superiority can carry out sensitive missions in some of the most dangerous combat regions in the world. Even more impressive is the ability to carry these out without the loss of a single life.
The main purpose of DARPA creating these Drones has always been the safety and security of the American soldiers. While doing so, it maintains as close to a 100% mission success rate by checking gathered intelligence multiple times before carrying out any assigned tasks. A lot of improvements are still on the table to increase the efficiency, speed, range and tactical capabilities of drones.
DARPA has outlined three top priorities for the concepts of developing new UAV models
They revolve around:
Low cost and reusable airborne launch of drones and recovery systems from large aircraft’s.
Investments in improving and expanding greater navigational capabilities to enact highly coordinated flight activities.
Making sure the primary plan comes to fruition within four years with real-life applications of the drones, showing their full range of new capabilities as well as their potential usability by the Air Force and their partners in real-life situations and war-time scenarios.
DARPA is also conducting experiments where, in the future, a large pack of drones could be quickly and efficiently deployed over war zones. With more drones in the air, DARPA wishes to resolve existing problems of drone control. Enabling fewer pilots to run more than one drone at any one time will allow for multi-tasking for any given situation.
What about drones going commercial? Should they be registered for commercial use? The commercial industry is patiently waiting to see what the future holds in store for shared airspace and technology. It is possible to one day see small packages and fast food being delivered by a drone.