The fifth-generation F-35 Lighting II fighter jet has been called a prime example of the United State’s dominance in the air. However, other countries are closing in on that technological lead with their own, similar crafts.

Additionally, the new F-35 has had its share of cost and production issues, which have lead some to dismiss this form of aircraft as an outdated approach to air dominance. The F-35 has even been called “the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly.”

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Pilots Remain On The Ground
Despite this assessment, aerospace and defense industries in the U.S. are hitting new heights, even as pilots may soon remain grounded. Unmanned aircraft are changing the present and they could shape the civilian skies and battlefields of our future.

Just The Beginning
Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicle (UVA) applications and capabilities have expanded considerably in just the last few years.

Once restricted to the military, and later branching off for purposes of aerial photography, inspection, delivery, and more, drones are now affordable and accessible to people and organizations throughout the globe.

As drones are still adapting the needs of our world, and the world is still adapting the prevalence of drones, we’re really only seeing the beginnings of what unmanned aircraft can and will do.

Speed, Stealth, and Range
Dozens of countries across the globe are already using drones and other unmanned technology to expand and assert their military might in the sky. As the U.S. strives to surpass competing drone capabilities, speed, stealth, and range are said to be among the key factors that must be continuously improved.

The Future Of Our Skies
If we gradually start phasing out the development of manned aircraft in favor of drones and other UAVs, there are a number of questions we must answer, including how increased use will affect our security and how can we make the drones themselves more secure—especially as there is increasing concern over how trains, cars, and commercial aircraft could potentially be hacked as a form of cyber terrorism.

Further, how do we prepare other defenses if enemy powers are also increasing their drone capabilities?

Tell us what you think the future of our civilian and military skies will look like when drones become an even more widespread technology.

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