Thursday, June 16, 2016

Air Superiority Drones

Warfare has countless examples of ignoring the obvious, cavalry before World War I, fortified emplacements before World War II, techno-war before Vietnam; generals begin fighting each war with the lessons learned from the past. Now we have fighter planes.

Drones are currently successful because they are used for ground support. This is a mission that has long been neglected. It is difficult to justify expenditure on fixed wing propeller aircraft even though they are the best means of assisting ground troops. Drones have stepped into this vacuum. 

The next obvious step in Drone evolution is to give them jet capability. This is a disruptive technology. Defense companies are disinterested because it will end their expensive all-purpose fighter jets. Air forces don’t want to lose their fighter pilot culture. What a tremendous profit opportunity and with such a low entry level cost.

Just as electric cars have made power engineers sexy again, stealth given opportunity to radio engineers, drones do it for aerospace engineering. Don’t be distracted by scramjets. Think cheap. It may even be possible to fly high and drop nets. If your targets are subsonic you might use sound instead of radar. Perhaps you are just an AMRAAM delivery platform.  Say you have a relatively slow moving drone carrying 10 air to air missiles flying in support of a mission. Now say you have 25 such drones.

Kickstart its’ funding. I’m sure every war nerd in the world will kick in to shoot down top gun.

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