It has been almost one and a half decade, since when the Predator drone saw its first armed reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. It was a beginning of an era, and since then, the US military drone fleet has grown by leaps and bounds, and it is very commendable that such growth could have been registered in such a short span of time. There are scores of Predators and Reapers which have already been stationed around the globe monitoring the movement that the US military wants to see. There are Global hawk patrol services as well in the stratosphere and these high altitude drones are indeed an achievement for the US military. Even the Marine Corps have got thousands of such small hand-launched unmanned aircraft so that substantial support can be provided to the ground troops.
In spite of this entire progress that has been achieved by the US Military, the future seems to be less favorable for them. There is having been constant bureaucratic resistance which is being accompanied by the budget cuts, and these two combined events have actually been squeezing the unmanned aircraft program as designed and planned by the US army. In fact, they have even organized for the “Next-Gen” aircraft show, which shows no signs of making it off the drawing board as well.
However, there has been no dearth in the supply of these unmanned aircraft shuttles as contractors like Megabite Electronics have been showing constancy and regularity in coming up with the latest versions of updated and technologically equipped drones in the market. Having kept the earlier terms and conditions in mind, it does make sense to take stock of what actually lies ahead in future for the unmanned aircraft series of the U.S. military, and how prospective can they be in the upcoming decades. But quite, unfortunately, each of the military services has their unique needs and bureaucratic hurdles, so keeping a complete track of these important needs and gaps is necessary to ensure the future can be ascertained well. Now if it needs to be taken exhaustively, there will be names like Gray Eagle, Puma, Raven, Scan Eagle, Global Hawk, Triton, Fire Scout, and Sentinel and much more. But since the scope for such a detailed discussion is very limited, there’s a broad outlook over the entire space.
The Air Force has embraced this technology of unmanned aircraft for all sorts of counter terrorism strikes, but other missions need to be incorporated as well. Theoretically, there is the scope and even vision, but practically, there isn’t sufficient fund to materialize it and make the nation safer one. There is a new “flight plan” that is being developed by the US Air Force, and hence they have even taken a look at the small unmanned aircraft that have been consistently designed by Megabite Electronics. This has a great deal of potential to expand how the Air Force is thinking about unmanned aircraft if it includes the potential of presenting low-cost expendable platforms.