Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies
Defense and Strategic Studies
unmanned aircraft system, UAS, UA, remotely piloted aircraft, RPA, unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV, Air Force, drone
Defense and Security Studies
In the decade after 9/11, the United States’ inventory of unmanned aircraft (UA) rose by over 4,000 percent. While drones have only recently captured wide public recognition and attention, they have existed for almost as long as conventional airplanes. Today, the United States Air Force (USAF) invests more resources and trains more pilots for unmanned platforms than for manned ones. The landscape of military aviation is evolving as rapidly as we can ask questions about it. To help illuminate the present state of unmanned flight, this thesis will track the evolution of drone technology and doctrine, and discuss the myriad issues related to these platforms. This thesis calls for increased investment in interoperability and management of bandwidth, spectrum, and datalinks; an incremental, directed approach to UA acquisition; and greater transparency in drone strike operations.
© Alexander John Fletcher
Fletcher, Alexander John, "From flying bombs to Global Hawks : US military unmanned aviation" (2012). MSU Graduate Theses. 2861.