Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Umanned Systems Roadmap

OSD has released its new Unmanned Systems Roadmap, 2007-2023. This is the first integrated report and includes Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Unmanned Ground Systems and Unmanned Maritime Systems.

The report is available directly at

Some highlights from the executive summary:

As of October 2006, coalition Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), exclusive of hand-launched systems, had flown almost 400,000 flight hours in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) had responded to over 11,000 Improvised Explosive Device (IED) situations, and Unmanned Maritime Systems (UMSs) had provided security to ports. As a result of these successes, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) emphasized the importance of unmanned systems in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

Unmanned systems are highly desired by combatant commanders (COCOMs) for the many roles these systems can fulfill. Tasks such as mine detection; signals intelligence; precision target designation; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE) reconnaissance; and communications and data relay rank high among the COCOMs' interests. These unmanned capabilities have helped reduce the complexity and time lag in the "sensor" component of the sensor-to-shooter chain for prosecuting "actionable intelligence." Unmanned systems are changing the conduct of military operations in the GWOT by providing unrelenting pursuit combined with the elimination of threats to friendly forces; including injury, capture, or death.

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