US military excited about drones and manned aircraft working together

Drones leave a lasting impression on the US military, as R&D and purchases continue to increase as the military works to keep modernized.

US military excited about drones and manned aircraft working together
Published Sep 29, 2022 11:05 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Oct 21 2022 3:33 PM CDT
1 minute & 21 seconds read time

It's no secret the US military is interested in adding newer autonomous aircraft to the current fleet, as analysts argue how much longer manned fighter jets will be required. Even though humans will still hop into aircraft cockpits for the foreseeable future, there have been continuous breakthroughs in autonomous aviation.

US military excited about drones and manned aircraft working together 01

During the recent Air and Space Forces Association's Air, Space & Cyber conference, there was clear emphasis on unmanned systems and drone technology which don't require human pilots. There is plenty of opportunity for autonomous aircraft and manned aircraft to work together, so the US military has a full assortment of attack and reconnaissance capabilities.

Autonomous aircraft remain a major military objective, especially as the US government thinks about potential contested engagements against China or Russia, priority peer adversaries. Securing funding and building next-generation aircraft - along with training human pilots to fly these machines - is not a fast or easy task.

As noted by Andrew Van Timmeren, VP of government services at Blue Force Technologies, while speaking to Defense One:

"We're never going to have enough F-35s, we're never gonna have enough F-22s. We're not building anymore. And those are extremely exquisite, and expensive, expensive platforms. So we can enable survivability and we can enable combat capability if we use these advanced unmanned systems, while keeping the price point low."

Drones and autonomous technology are extremely popular among the US military and other nations - a $12 billion industry in 2022 is expected to increase up to $17 billion by 2027, an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% over the next five years.

It's not just attack drones that are in development, but drones have a functional use of resupply missions or life-saving battlefield medicine supply runs. These smaller drones need a large battery and controlled temperature storage containers for blood and medicine but are seen as an effective way to send supplies when a manned vehicle might be a problem.

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An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown to cover everything from cars & electric vehicles to solar and green energy topics. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the Cars & Electric Vehicles News Reporter and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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