The Advantages and Disadvantages of Manned and Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Ground forces throughout the military rely heavily on the aerial systems used by their aviation assets in order to accomplish their missions. Advances in technology have evolved the types of aircraft used in battle, and while the manned aviation asset is still the leading system used, unmanned systems are steadily moving forward. Manned aircraft systems have both advantages and disadvantages as well as unmanned aircraft systems. The military utilizes both of these systems to complement each other in the battlefield. In this topic, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages for both systems.
Time is of the essence. As leaders, we are very familiar with this term. Timing in the battlefield can lead to either victory or death. Manned aircraft pilots are far more capable of observing the situation in aerial combat allowing them to cut delays between observing and acting on a potential enemy threat by as much as ten seconds. This allows the pilot of the aircraft to place him or herself into a favorable position (Why UAVs Cannot Replace Fighter Aircraft, 2013). In January of 2010, the National Defense Magazine reported that battlefield officers do not want entirely all unmanned systems (Ground Forces Still Want Manned Surveillance Aircraft, General Says, 2010). An intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force began to develop the MC-12 Liberty aircraft as Major General Bradley A. Hiethold said “there is something special, if you will, about a manned ISR platform” (Ground Forces Still Want Manned Surveillance Aircraft, General Says, 2010). He also recalled an incident where a ground force commander wanted some up-to-date images of where his area troops were about to enter. The ground commander was able t...

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