Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Dr. Walt Whitacre
May 10, 2012
The military is currently utilizing the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as a viable management tool for exploiting the air and space as mediums for defense and attack on enemy forces. This new means of air power poses three primary challenges to the military managers that will have to be addressed prior to fielding the UAV to their forces. Those challenges are stealth capability, logistics demands, and maintaining an acceptable mission readiness rate. It also presents new and unique challenges for management personnel because of the requirements involved with uncharacteristic operations and its personnel and training demands. Various branches of the armed services are hopeful that the UAV will be the final solution to the problem of overcoming each of three of these obstacles.
Since the origin of civilization, the world’s armies and the managers or leaders within have all struggled with staying one step of head of each other. In order to accomplish this, they must gather as much intelligence as possible, develop advanced technological warfare and provide efficient management for ensuring that all requirements and goals are met. This is found within each branch of the military, with each one facing similar and unique challenges associated with different modes of defense and attack. These modes of defense and attack have evolved with time, to include air and most recently space. Currently, the technology that is being pursued to exploit the air and space mode of defense and attack is the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). No matter what mode a military utilizes for defense and attack or intelligence gathering, the management will always be faced with three main challenges, which are stealth capability, logistics demands, and maintaining an acceptable mission readiness rate. There are 5 primary UAV’s that are being utilized today, which are the Predator, the Global Hawk, the Pioneer, the Hunter and finally the Predator. Each UAV has been designed to meet the above mentioned challenges, as well as possessing other capabilities that have been established by the associated management team. (Yanushevsky 2011) Today’s military managers are hoping that the UAV will be the final solution to overcoming all three of these challenges. The challenge an armed forces manager must face prior to considering any technology for use as a weapon or resource is the logistics involved with deploying and maintaining it. The unmanned aerial vehicle has a very low life-cycle cost compared to a standard jet or plane with the same capabilities. This was evaluated when the military first decided to start integrating UAVs into their fleets. Col. Robert E. Chapman, USAF stated in an early briefing for the justification of utilizing the UAV over the F-16 in the destruction of enemy air defenses, known as “DEAD” missions that the “Preliminary analysis indicates that a UCAV squadron could achieve a reduction in operating and support costs of at least 75 percent, compared to costs associated with an F-16 squadron equipped with high-speed antiradiation missiles, the Air Force’s current DEAD workhorse.” When you stop to think about it, after an UAV has been entered into service, the operation costs should be far less than operating costs of your standard jet or plane. They are much smaller and carry only the payload as extra weight. There is no pilot, cockpit, or any other components associated with aiding a human pilot. With the research and development costs of a standard jet remaining astronomical along with its operation costs, a UAV is very viable solution to reducing logistics demands for a military. In today’s mission, stealth is evolving to mean many different things than it has previously. When someone thinks of stealth, they think of remaining undetected by the enemy, which can be