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Proceedings Paper

Medium-range UAV: a success
Author(s): Walter E. Hamilton
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Paper Abstract

Twenty years ago the United States was in the midst of the cold war with the Warsaw Pact as our most formidable and likely enemy. They had three times as many tanks, artillery pieces, and armored personnel carriers as us. Since we could not match them in numbers the NATO forces and the US Department of Defense strategists devised what former Secretary ofDefense William Perry called an "Offset Strategy." This was simply to use our superior technology to offset their greater numbers. The technology that evolved was a combination ofprecision guided munitions, stealth, and intelligence and reconnaissance gathering capabilities. Secretary Peny called it the Reconnaissance Strike Force. We never had to use the offset strategy because the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact dissolved. However, along came Desert Storm. Instead of facing an opponent having superior numbers as the Warsaw Pact forces had the Coalition Forces of Desert Storm faced essentially equal numbers of the same equipments that we had designed our systems against. Desert Storm demonstrated that in such a conflict our superior technology would give us dominance. Today, Force Dominance is the buzz phrase that dictates much of our defense planning. We want to win decisively and dominate a conflict. To do this we need to excel in three things. One, we need to know what's happening. Situational awareness is the goal of the battle commander. Whoever knows first what his opponent is doing will usually win. This is the role of the intelligence and reconnaissance arm of the Reconnaissance Strike Force. Second, the commander needs to get his weapons into position to use them effectively. This is where stealth in aircraft becomes vital. And thirdly, the weapons themselves need the accuracy to hit the their targets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3128, Airborne Reconnaissance XXI, (21 November 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.279079
Show Author Affiliations
Walter E. Hamilton, Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3128:
Airborne Reconnaissance XXI
Wallace G. Fishell, Editor(s)

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