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Modern Drone Tactics

This is a discussion on Modern Drone Tactics within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Ranger25 Yes Sir! The USN remains at the cutting edge with DARPA close. I've also seen some ...


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Old June 18th, 2016   #16
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Yes Sir!

The USN remains at the cutting edge with DARPA close. I've also seen some data DARPA is working on networked "Swarming UUVs) as well. Could be another interesting capability that will need to worked into Operational Concepts
the array concept has also migrated to UDT concepts as well.... there's some extraordinary opportunities that are getting developed literally day by day.

it really is a new horizon and has moved well beyond the kinetic and strike effects concepts of even a few years back
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Old June 20th, 2016   #17
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Manned/unmanned teaming

The US Army has also proven new CONOPS for AH-64/Reaper teaming. AH64 crews a controlling networked UCAVS as replacements for the LOACH eliminating the need for a crewed LOACH. Concept has worked very well.
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Old July 27th, 2016   #18
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Drones are going to be used in many operations. Because the military battles are challenging, drones give the troops a great edge.
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Old July 31st, 2016   #19
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The US Army has also proven new CONOPS for AH-64/Reaper teaming. AH64 crews a controlling networked UCAVS as replacements for the LOACH eliminating the need for a crewed LOACH. Concept has worked very well.
I have actually never understood the reasoning behing letting your AH crews operate drones. The workload of a two man AH crew is already tremendous as it is so in the end they can either fly and fight their own bird or hover somewhere and control an UAV.

In that case you have a rather expensive flying control station which at the same time ties down one of your AHs. Not to talk of one of your premier tactical assets sitting there emitting constantly which may result in some unfortunate consequences against a near peer enemy.

I am all for networking different sensor inputs for the crew of an AH to use. But what is the gain in letting them control the UAV instead of them using their bird and someone else in a ground control station controlling the UAV?
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Old July 31st, 2016   #20
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I have actually never understood the reasoning behing letting your AH crews operate drones. The workload of a two man AH crew is already tremendous as it is so in the end they can either fly and fight their own bird or hover somewhere and control an UAV.

In that case you have a rather expensive flying control station which at the same time ties down one of your AHs. Not to talk of one of your premier tactical assets sitting there emitting constantly which may result in some unfortunate consequences against a near peer enemy.

I am all for networking different sensor inputs for the crew of an AH to use. But what is the gain in letting them control the UAV instead of them using their bird and someone else in a ground control station controlling the UAV?
If the UAS is capable of lasing targets, perhaps that might permit the crew to better engage targets hidden in complex terrain i.e. valleys? The UAS could lase directly into the valley from above, while the AH-64E crew 'lofts' Hellfires in the direction of the target from a safe distance away.
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Old July 31st, 2016   #21
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And what keeps a normal ground station crew from lasing a target and calling for a Hellfire from a nearby Apache?

That's no inherent advantage for putting the Apache in direct control of the UAV in my eyes.
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Old August 1st, 2016   #22
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And what keeps a normal ground station crew from lasing a target and calling for a Hellfire from a nearby Apache?

That's no inherent advantage for putting the Apache in direct control of the UAV in my eyes.
I see what you mean.

Just as a thought exercise, what if the handover of control is only temporal i.e. UAS already orbiting overhead, just need to takeover for the next minute or so to lase or use onboard sensors to verify target. No control or change in UAS flight path necessary, just a temporary take-over of some of the subsystems. In this manner, the decision-making loop is shortened for the Apache crew, and they gain greater autonomy and control over how they intend to service their targets.
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Old August 1st, 2016   #23
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If thar is the case than the UAV crew has identified and assessed the target. If the UAV is able and meant to mark targets, than the operators are also trained FAC-As. So they are the ones making the decision to attack and with which kind of weapon by the available air support assets.

Not much different from how ground bound FACs handle things and how it works best. Handing the lasing over to the AH means that they have to identify and assess the target again just to lase it, making the whole process longer and more error prone.

Sending the target picture to the shooter is another matter as this helps in establishing if the AH crew is ok with engaging the target in the way the FAC requestet it.
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Old August 1st, 2016   #24
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If thar is the case than the UAV crew has identified and assessed the target. If the UAV is able and meant to mark targets, than the operators are also trained FAC-As. So they are the ones making the decision to attack and with which kind of weapon by the available air support assets.

Not much different from how ground bound FACs handle things and how it works best. Handing the lasing over to the AH means that they have to identify and assess the target again just to lase it, making the whole process longer and more error prone.

Sending the target picture to the shooter is another matter as this helps in establishing if the AH crew is ok with engaging the target in the way the FAC requestet it.
Got it, I think I understand. Basically it's hard to avoid duplication of effort.
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Old October 3rd, 2016   #25
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Bringing a nearly dead topic back to life, even if it is brief. First and foremost, the Scouts were going out anyway, and weren't replaced via UAS capabilities.

So how busy is the front seater going to be? UAS are point and click flying anyway. Second, most of the operators aren't FAC qualified and in fact, operations, payload and ordnance are controlled by different people, on some of them. Teaming Grey Eagles with the 64 allows many unique TTP's. Finally, you have trained gunners in the kill chain, that understand so much more than the operators sitting far away who probably aren't going to be able to be part of an Air Mission Brief, in person, with the AWTs. Ultimately this increases capability and reduces target latency, and latency is a huge issue with any engagement. It's all part of platform integration, and putting the UAS in the 64 crews hands is just another TTP (s) in the kit bag.

Besides, when Red Force figures out how to turn around UAS and put ordnance on Blue Force, the UAS days will be over for an unspecified period of time.
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