The world’s defensive technology lead has become a tenuous position. The U.S. has enjoyed that spot for decades but as the nature of conflicts change, enemy territory becomes more difficult to define.


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As other military powers boost and broaden their technological access,  significant action will be needed to maintain our defensive lead.  As aggression from Russia and China have escalated, the Pentagon recently announced a decision to boost one specific form of military technology over the next several years.

Through the Army and employment of civilian contractors, the Pentagon will aim to increase drone use by about 50 percent.

Changing Adversaries And A New Approach
Drone warfare is commonly associated with anti-terrorism activity and intelligence gathering over target areas, but growing potential for conflict with Russia and China has lead the Pentagon to consider a different approach.

Additionally, the U.S. Air Force has been made to decrease its daily combat missions from 65 to 60 as a result of stress on the force.

This limited activity further hinders the U.S. military’s ability to face mounting security threats from opposing forces. Considering the current and pressing need for regular surveillance and airstrike missions in the fight against Islamic State groups, the new limitations could amount to some serious vulnerability.

Calling In Civilian Forces
In order to reach the goal of 90 daily combat air patrols, official resources–which were cut as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan came to an end–will need to be restored for combat missions. Additionally, civilian contractors will need to be employed for surveillance missions.

The Pentagon, however, is still trying to determine how costs will be covered and how the drone gathered data would be sorted and analyzed.

While there’s no shortage of obstacles for such operations, it’s hoped that contractor flights will especially help the Air Force recover and restore many of its exhausted drone resources.

Will Demand Boost Innovation?
This new demand for drones and missions operators may help breed the level of UAV defenses and innovations that will help ensure that the U.S. and its allies retain a valuable technological edge.

However, these is still a great deal of work to be done in implementing, and developing, the caliber of security and defensive capability that we’ll need to maintain our lead, even as technology changes everything we know about the battlefield.

Do you expect this increase in drone demand and need for civilian contractors to have an impact on your industry?

Do you think the Pentagon is making the right move with this UAV boosting plan?

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