Accession Number : ADA599239

Title :   Armed and Dangerous? UAVs and U.S. Security

Descriptive Note : Research rept.

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s) : Davis, Lynn E ; McNerney, Michael J ; Chow, James ; Hamilton, Thomas ; Harting, Sarah ; Byman, Daniel

PDF Url : ADA599239

Report Date : Jan 2014

Pagination or Media Count : 35

Abstract : Understanding the characteristics and capabilities of armed UAVs will be critical to making future policy choices. The complexity and expense of long-range armed UAVs are quite different from short-range systems, which make them difficult to develop and even to operate. How UAVs will be employed also is important; UAVs that are expendable, like cruise missiles, are easier to use than those intended to be used again. Many countries are developing and acquiring UAVs. Short-range UAVs are going to spread, because they have attractive civilian uses. Only a few rich and technologically advanced countries will be in a position to develop the higher-technology and longer-range systems. Most of these are U.S. allies. Others, including U.S. adversaries, will likely find other weapons, such as aircraft, more militarily and cost-effective. Armed UAV systems are not truly transformative weapons, though they offer the United States some significant advantages today (and our more militarily proficient allies and adversaries in the future), particularly against enemies that lack air defenses. It is also plausible, though not necessarily likely, that a substate group might employ armed UAVs to create a significant psychological effect. Armed UAVs do not create the dangers and instabilities that have traditionally led to nonproliferation efforts, although the risks of proliferation cannot be dismissed entirely, as with any conventional weapon. The United States has an interest in how others use armed UAVs as they spread, and will need to address how its own use of these systems can be fit into a broader set of international norms to discourage their misuse by others.

Descriptors :   *DRONES, *EVOLUTION(GENERAL), *LIMITATIONS, *MILITARY CAPABILITIES, *POLICIES, *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION, LONG RANGE(DISTANCE), MASS DESTRUCTION WEAPONS, NATIONAL SECURITY, REUSABLE EQUIPMENT, SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS, SHORT RANGE(DISTANCE), SURVEILLANCE, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, WEAPON DELIVERY

Subject Categories : Pilotless Aircraft
      Government and Political Science
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE