U.S. Army Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: 2010-2035

Friday April 16, 2010

What is it?

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Roadmap outlines how the U.S. Army will develop, organize and employ UAS from 2010 to 2035 across the full-spectrum of military operations. The Army UAS Roadmap is strictly a conceptual document. It is not intended to be directive in nature but more specifically used as a strategic communication tool, which establishes a broad glide path, for future UAS development in terms of capability and employment. The Roadmap will be reviewed every two years in order remain relevant with respect to operational needs, lessons learned, and emerging capabilities.

What has the Army done?

The Army's UAS program came to fruition in 1991 when the Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) successfully flew more than 300 combat missions during Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Operational needs and lessons learned from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted the Army to increase the number and capabilities of UAS. There are currently more than 1000, Army unmanned aircraft deployed in theater that have flown almost one million flight hours in support of combat operations.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Roadmap spans a 25-year period and serves as a conceptual document that covers three distinct periods: Near-term (2010-2015), Mid-term (2016-2025), and Far-term (2026-2035).
- Near-term. Continued rapid integration of UAS into tactical organizations meets the Warfighter's current combat requirements. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance are the dominant UAS capability requirements. Systems in the near-term include: Extended Range Multi Purpose (ERMP), Hunter, Shadow and Raven UAS.
- Mid-term. The Army fully integrates UAS. Technological advances increase UAS autonomy and support rapid and fluid operations. UAS resolution and net-centric force capability improve. Optionally piloted vehicles (OPV) and lighter than air (LTA) vehicles emerge to continue to bridge the gap between manned and unmanned capabilities.
- Far-term. Technological advancements increase endurance and carrying capacity while size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements decrease. The Army leverages advanced vertical takeoff and landing, cargo, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) and Nano UAS technology.

Why is this important to the Army?

Army UAS are the "eyes of the Army" and support the achievement of information dominance by providing the capability to quickly collect, process and disseminate relevant information to reduce the sensor-to-shooter timeline. The UAS Roadmap is the Army's first synchronized effort to outline a comprehensive UAS strategy for the next quarter-century by focusing on unmanned aircraft, emerging technologies, system interoperability, commonality, and most importantly continued support to the warfighter.


For a copy of the UAS Roadmap, please visit: U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence

Related article: UAS Roadmap, full-spectrum CABs hot topics at Army Aviation convention





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"There have been many technologies introduced during this 8 1/2 years of war. However, I don't think any has made a greater impact than UAS. It's always important when you have a game changer like this that you step back, take some time to think about it and lay out your future. That's what we've tried to do in this very first UAS Roadmap."

- Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli speaks to the media after unveiling the Army's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Roadmap at the Army Aviation Association of America convention in Fort Worth, Texas, April 15.

UAS Roadmap, full-spectrum CABs hot topics at Army Aviation convention


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