Page 1

SPECIAL REPORT

Advanced UAV Surveillance Systems

Looking South Towards World-Class UAVs Capability The Growing Global Market for UAVs The Power of Command of the Air in COIN UAVs in Action: Lessons Learned Future UAS

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

SPECIAL REPORT

Advanced UAV Surveillance Systems

Contents Foreword

Looking South Towards World-Class UAVs Capability

2

Mary Dub, Editor

The Growing Global Market for UAVs The Power of Command of the Air in COIN UAVs in Action: Lessons Learned Future UAS

Looking South Towards World-Class UAVs Capability 3 By Denel Dynamics

The Best of Seeker II

Sponsored by

Mounting Interest in Seeker 400 Published by Global Business Media

Skua – Speed, Quality, Unmanned Agility

Published by Global Business Media

Small UAV Solution

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

Dynamic Evolution

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

The Growing Global Market for UAVs

Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub

About Denel Dynamics – A Forward-Thinking Company

USAF (United States Air Force) Looking to “All – UAV Future” Extensive Civilian Applications for UAVs UAVs for Counter Insurgency Operations Persistence: a Key Feature of UAV Surveillance Disadvantages of the Use of UAVs

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

UAVs for Nations Emerging from Conflict

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

The Power of Command of the Air in COIN

Production Manager Paul Davies

The Strategic Value of Air Power in Irregular Warfare

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

UAVs in Action: Lessons Learned

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

7

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

9

Meredith LLewelyn, Lead Contributor

11

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

The Importance of Speeding up Decision Taking The Importance of Reflection and Rules of Engagement in Decision Taking Practical Limitations on the Use of UAVs

Future UAS

13

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

Bandwidth, Bandwidth, Bandwidth Excess Global Use of UAS

References

14

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Foreword

T

his Special Report focuses on the new powerful and technologically fast moving area of unmanned aerial vehicles or systems. Every month new capabilities are added to these increasingly ubiquitous flying vehicles.

frequently downplayed at the planning stage. The

The Report opens with a piece that looks at the

for surveillance, referred to in the fourth article, offer

design, development and manufacture of UAVs

useful guidance to manufacturers looking to improve

in South Africa over the last 20 years, which place

their products and to potential purchasers of UAVs

South Africa at the forefront of UAV technology when

who seek a solution to problems that may generate

compared to many countries now entering the UAV

unintended consequences.

third piece looks at the way that thinking by land commanders is beginning to change as they place increasing weight on the importance of UAS. Lessons Learned from the field are always vital. The recent lessons generated by the use of UAVs

market. The article goes on to describe a number of

The final piece looks at the future for UAS

UAV systems, including the Seeker II and the Seeker

and concludes that their frequent and more

400 as well as the Skua system and outlines the

widespread use seems to be guaranteed.

advantages of various systems for different roles

However, there are many technological restraints

including asymmetric warfare, peace support and

on their effectiveness that need to be lifted to

homeland security, as well as the use of small UAVs

maximize their value to the full. Some of these

for civilian and other applications.

restraints are not in the UAVs themselves but

The second article looks at the growing global

in problems created in the need to handle the

market for UAS not only in the United States, but also in

increased data flow and then for humans to take

niche specialist markets in Africa, the Middle East and

well-judged decisions on the data generated. The

Asia. Despite or, perhaps, because of, defense budget

human factor will always be paramount and the

cuts, alternative and sometimes-cheaper methods of

increased need for training for operators of UAVs

delivering the benefits of air power are being procured.

and the commanders who will take decisions on the

The rising demand for the wide spectrum of different

data generated will need further training.

types of UAS currently appears resilient. Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN) have found frequent effective use for UAS. However their role is

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager. Focused by a Masters in War Studies from King’s College, London, she annotates and highlights the interplay of armies, governments and industry.

2 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Looking South Towards World-Class UAVs Capability By Denel Dynamics

South Africa is running with the world’s best as a responsible, world-class developer and manufacturer of a full range of UAVS and precision guided missiles. South Africa develops and produces some of the most rugged and reliable tactical UAV surveillance systems in the world. A 20-year head-start in designing, developing, manufacturing and deploying advanced UAVS technology has given South Africa an enviable edge when comparing it to the many international (including European) countries intending to enter the booming world-wide UAV market. Proudly innovative, Denel Dynamics is a competitive missiles solutions company which forms part of the Denel Group, South Africa’s largest manufacturer of defence equipment.

S

OUTH AFRICA’S leading missile and UAV house, Denel Dynamics, has claimed the technology high-ground as the only supplier of export-ready medium to long range tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (UAVS) on the African continent. Its medium range Seeker II has a reputation as one of the best tactical UAV Systems of its class in the world. The entry of a new system is an important debut in 2012 for the eagerly awaited long range Seeker 400; designed to stay in the air continuously for 16 hours while simultaneously operating two payloads. While the US and Israel dominate the global market, there is scope for South Africa to use local skills to create market-leading UAVs to developing nations. The RSA UAV industry aims to capture in excess of 20% of this end of the market. Denel Dynamics has focused on the business of advanced systems technology for more than 45 years and has gained extensive paramilitary experience over more than two decades in South Africa. It has also gained intensive operational experience internationally in military hot-spots over the past decade. “We are ideally positioned to collaborate with certain developing countries, offering first world expertise in UAV and missile capabilities,” says Tsepo Monaheng, Head of UAVS at Denel Dynamics. The company’s flagship fifth generation A-Darter (air-to-air) missile development programme is a case in point. “Good progress on this bi-national development programme between the South African and Brazilian governments is

reported, with much appreciation expressed towards SA for the genuinely inclusive nature of the relationship between the two countries. The knock-on effect is further co-operative work on future projects.”

The Best of Seeker II Denel Dynamics’ Seeker II system has gained a reputation as one of the best medium range tactical UAV systems of its class in the world. It is capable of operating from semiprepared gravel runways, has a range of >250km with a 10 hour endurance and offers an optional launch and para-foil recovery capability for operation in remote and harsh environments. Denel Dynamics has invested continuously in evolutionary and revolutionary upgrades to stay competitive with high-tech enhancements. These include:

SEEKER II OVER CAPE TOWN STADIUM AT THE TIME OF THE SOCCER WORLD CUP 2010 HOSTED BY SOUTH AFRICA.

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

While the US and Israel dominate the global market, there is scope for South Africa to use local skills to create market-leading UAVs to

SEEKER 400 PROTOTYPE WAS DISPLAYED AT AAD2010 AS AN ARMED ISTAR SURVEILLANCE AND RECONNAISSANCE SYSTEM, WITH MOKOPA ANTITANK MISSILES (ALSO A DENEL DYNAMICS PRODUCT) UNDER EACH WING TO PROTECT IT AND VALUABLE NATIONAL ASSETS.

developing nations.

• a new state-of-the-art aero-engine with long maintenance cycles and associated low lifecycle cost (LCC) as well as very low noise signature and increased performance; • new multi-sensor optical payloads with integrated day-night capability; • an LD designator and range finder with excellent scene based auto tracker; • ATOL capability that will be production-ready by the end of this calendar year and, • several ground station MMI enhancements to reduce the workload on flying crew.

Mounting Interest in Seeker 400 With 16 hours of endurance, and new definition digital communication, the Seeker 400 UAVS is a robust system: • 30% larger than Seeker II, the dual band data links will facilitate the vehicle to accommodate 100 kg’s of multiple payloads simultaneously. • Seeker 400 executes electronic intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition (ISTAR) operations both day and night even under the worst climatic conditions. • The vehicle can also perform border patrol, maritime patrol and target designation missions. • It is deployable in most conditions, including taking off from an unprepared piece of land. In fact, the development is at a stage where automatic takeoff and landing will be available in the near future. • Currently, it has a range of 250 km using lineof-sight communications, with the potential for a satellite communications upgrade. Denel Dynamics believes the market has a growing requirement for an armed Seeker 400. “Carrying precision-guided munitions, it is ideal 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

for asymmetric warfare, peace support, homeland security, combating piracy and strategic national assets protection. There is a constant drive in such operations to limit collateral damage through the use of precision weapons and advanced targeting payloads,” says Monaheng. A number of countries have already expressed interest in an armed version of the UAV. Future evolution will include day-night and allweather missions, and sense-and-avoid capability in order to obtain civil aviation certification for this system. This would further enhance Seeker 400’s mission capabilities. “South Africa can offer value for money in terms of total cost of ownership,” says Monaheng. “The Seeker 400 is versatile. A common issue is that customers are often tied to what a manufacturer can give them. This system offers a lot with room to modify,”. Theatreproven UAV capabilities inform current and future innovations. This enables Denel Dynamics to meet the ISR and combat requirements of different countries.

Skua – Speed, Quality, Unmanned Agility The A-Darter missile programme highlighted the interplay between missile development and UAV capability when Denel Dynamics modified the payload configuration of its Skua for the project (as pictured above). As a performance driven unmanned target drone, the Skua is suited to high subsonic missile testing (M0.85), advanced air combat weapons training and evaluation with realistic threat simulation. In fact, the South African Air Force used Skua in the run up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup for security preparation of the Gripen fighter aircraft. Denel


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

SKUA IN AN A-DARTER PAYLOAD CONFIGURATION WITH WING-TIP BURNERS AND ECM FLARE DISPENSERS EXHIBITED AT AAD2010

Dynamics has a pioneering past, with 30 years of high speed target drone experience. One of its advantages is that the system is compact and easy to transport with a dedicated ground station that uses latest generation hardware. Skua is in operation internationally and has been enhanced to accommodate air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles. It was recently used by the Finnish navy as the target in a vertical launch of a Denel Dynamics Umkhonto SAM from a navy vessel. Gripen Fighter Jets used an unmanned Skua target drone in the run up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup security preparation. Other enhancements include IR-guided and radarguided missiles and low-level to high-altitude scenarios, as well as signature augmentation (infrared and radar), miss-distance indicators, and ECCM evaluation. The global increase in operational use of UAVs is a direct result of lessons learnt by armed forces deployed in conflict areas to enforce peace and security. Availability of capable and affordable South African UAVs of various sizes will trigger the enhancement of not only national security, but crime fighting, disaster management, election monitoring and search and rescue.

100km range is currently being developed by the South African missile and UAVS house. The first test flight is scheduled for the end of 2012. The system’s service ceiling is up to 15 000 ft and it will have a 3kg mission payload (fuel excluded), with a piloted and autonomous flight capability. It will have a very strong civilian application. The company believes there is a market for the small UAVS, and are in discussion with an international client re joint development. Locally the police force would benefit, but until now the available UAV systems have been too costly. On the issue of anti-poaching, this SUAV will be particularly relevant to the country’s current fight against rhino poachers which has become a national plight and of international concern. Portability is a prerequisite and the ground control station is going to be quick to setup, easy to use, and compact enough to transport in the back of a commercial light utility vehicle. The aircraft is fitted with a day or night payload, and communications link on board the aircraft enables real-time communication up to 100km from base. The system will consist of two air vehicles, one ground control station, two payloads, a launcher and field support equipment.

Small UAV Solution

Dynamic Evolution

A low cost SUAV, Seeker-S, with a 6 hour endurance and a direct line of sight range of

When it comes to UAS technology, there is no need for South Africa to stand back; Denel WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

About Denel Dynamics

The global increase in operational use of UAVs is a direct result of lessons learnt by armed forces deployed in

THE SKUA TARGET DRONE – DESIGNED TO SIMULATE HIGH-SPEED ATTACK AIRCRAFT DURING WEAPON DEVELOPMENT AS WELL AS LAND, SEA AND AIR

conflict areas to enforce peace and security.

COMBAT TRAINING.

Dynamics has top engineers producing worldclass technology. The company has proved itself to be an innovative leader in advanced systems technology. Where its core business covers tactical missiles, precision-guided weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), its passion lies in satisfying its long-term customers. “We are known for our forward thinking approach to providing evolving solutions for our valued clients,” says Monaheng. “Our track record reflects that all our clients who started their journey with us, have chosen to stay with Denel Dynamics as we continue to break new ground to develop, upgrade and integrate world-class products.”

6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

A Forward-Thinking Company The company’s current competitive products are developed from a foundation of more than 45 years’ worth of design, development and production experience in the South African guided missiles and UAV business. Denel Dynamics has a solid reputation as a responsible and highly creative company, delivering reliable, quality product solutions. Denel Dynamics is situated in Pretoria, South Africa and employs approximately 800 people (70% of its employees are technically highly qualified). The company’s commitment to sharing its success with small and medium enterprises has gained momentum to the extent that they have created a multiplier effect, where every one job within Denel Dynamics creates an additional four more jobs outside in the RSA economy. Denel Dynamics has a reputation for versatility – South Africa itself has experienced great change and transformation. Passion for discovery, a unique wealth of intellectual property and an ethos of commitment and service are the drivers behind Denel Dynamics’ evolution as a world class global competitor. 31 January 2012 Contact: Shantall Tshoshane Denel Dynamics Public Relations Manager Tel: +27 (0) 12 671 1555 Cell: +27 (0) 82 052 1820


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

The Growing Global Market for UAVs Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

“UAV expenditures reached more than US$3 billion and constituted a growth of more than 12% in 2010” Lucintel brief published, March 20111

U

NMANNED AERIAL Vehicles or UAVs or sometimes remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) are a growing and valued part of the latest technologies available to ISAF leaders in Afghanistan, but also police forces and civilian disaster relief agencies throughout the world. Lucintel points to 70% of the global market coming from the United States, but there is a significant and growing market in the emerging world in Africa, the Middle East and non-NATO states. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles include blimps (unstructured balloons) and zeppelins (rigid structured airships). They also include combat capable UAVs or UCAVS. Although many UAVS are used for surveillance, some are armed with missiles and are used to attack.

USAF (United States Air Force) Looking to “All – UAV Future” Focusing specifically on the United States market, Lucintel quotes an anonymous USAF officer of looking to an “All – UAV Future”. While this may be overstating the case, there is a bias towards UAVs as Defense spending moves more towards unmanned aircraft rather than manned aircraft. Many UAV manufacturers are based in the United States, some in Israel and one in South Africa among many others. Some prime contractors are focusing on key markets like the United States, such as Boeing, where the software links and ground stations capability are key. This is an important component of the Boeing approach to UAVs, says Kim Michel, Boeing Phantom Works Director of Advanced Unmanned Systems. “The Boeing family of UAVs is really about the whole system—the vehicle, ground control station, human systems interface and mission management. We are working on software that will do mission management, mission planning, sensor planning, communications planning and the vehicle’s visibility to the operator. The software we’re writing is actually common

across all of our platforms. We just have to modify it for individual interfaces to individual platforms.”2 As Lucintel points out, innovation, new applications and emerging technologies are driving the market.

Extensive Civilian Applications for UAVs UAVs cover a broad spectrum of size and capabilities. How do they subdivide? There are micro UAVS, short range UAV-CR (Close Range) and endurance UAVs. Although the use of UAVs is frequently associated with military use in counter insurgency operations and border patrols, it has a significant and growing application for civilian use: forest fires, wild asset and property protection, monitoring traffic and road accidents, agricultural activities and communication connectivity. Thales for example, quotes the specifications for ‘ Watchkeeper’, used by the British Armed forces as of value in paramilitary uses like counter-terrorism, monitoring of civil unrest, border patrol and surveillance of pipelines and other high value assets plus monitoring of illegal activity (e.g. drug smuggling, illegal logging and fishing). Frequently, the requirements met are for smallscale surveillance for low intensity conflict or incidence with unidentified perpetrators; or sometimes some uncertainty over a wide area of hidden activities among civilian populations. In war or high intensity situations there is a rising demand for real time intelligence, constant and uninterrupted surveillance over a wide area of reconnaissance for immediate and precise action, life protection, police surveillance against robbery, looting and snatching, riots, and illegal cross border immigration.

UAVs for Counter Insurgency Operations In an important American reassessment of the role of airpower, both manned and unmanned in irregular warfare or counterinsurgency, the WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

There is a bias towards UAVs as Defense spending moves more towards unmanned aircraft rather than manned aircraft.

JAPCC (Joint Airpower Competence Centre)3 draws attention to the way air power is frequently ignored by land forces in early planning of counter insurgency operations and finds itself relegated to surveillance or reactive airborne artillery. But the argument for joint planning with an airborne capability can lead to a significant enhancement of effectiveness, delivering air powers key features: height, speed, reach and ubiquity.

Persistence: a Key Feature of UAV Surveillance One of the outstanding advantages of UAV surveillance that cannot be matched by manned aircraft is persistence. UAVs can now over watch insurgent activities for extended periods of time up to 12 or even 24 hours (depending on fuel type): “Non-traditional ISTAR, signals intelligence, and measurement and signature intelligence have also been exploited in contemporary operations.”4 Furthermore, UAVs offer capabilities to show Battle Damage Assessment – which NATO defines as the assessment of effects resulting from the application of military action, either lethal or non-lethal, against a military objective.5 In counter-insurgency operations, armed drones and UAVS are being used in kinetic operations to attack groups of insurgents. However, in counterinsurgency operations, this can be a doubleedged sword, because unintended civilian casualties may turn the population against the legitimate use of force.

8 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

Disadvantages of the Use of UAVs The use of drones or UAVs can be perceived and reported in popular media or by the adversary in a counter-insurgency operation as an excessive or disproportionate use of force – as an illegitimate operation. It can also be seen as an externally imposed authority because of its impersonal nature. And in a counter-insurgency operation, where the goal is to win over “the hearts and minds” of the local population’ these can weigh against the value of the UAV. However, the use of UAVs can also have a deterrent effect on irregular activity by having a demonstration effect of air presence, although, again, this can be turned to a negative light by a potentially hostile local population as a demonstration of Western superiority.

UAVs for Nations Emerging from Conflict One telling argument put by the JAPCC, is that air power through the use of UAVS is an area open to development by nations stabilizing after conflict and counter- insurgency operations. It is being used as such in Afghanistan. However, air force trainers need to be able to mentor and train to provide expert advice in training armies and police forces, so that the power of air command can be adopted and utilized quickly and at relatively low cost to stabilize easily disrupted areas of difficult terrain.


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

The Power of Command of the Air in COIN Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

“Downplayed, taken for granted, or simply ignored, airpower is usually the last thing that military professionals think of when the topic of counter-insurgency is raised”6

T

HE ADVENT of UAVs and their relative low cost and high value is leading to a change from the Cinderella role of the past. As Alan Vick for the Rand Corporation summarizes: “… Because insurgencies do not present opportunities for an overwhelming application of the air instrument, air power has been used in a less-visible supporting role. Flying intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; airlifting troops; evacuating the wounded; and providing fire support for engaged ground forces tend to be taken for granted or undervalued outside aviation communities.” Worse, the highly valued helicopter is frequently seen as part of land forces rather than the air force. “Finally, US observers tend to view helicopters, which are used for mobility, reconnaissance, and fire support, as army platforms whether or not they belong to that nation’s air force or army.”7 But the United States is not the only user of air power; many of its coalition partners and other nations face irregular warfare on their borders or require an airpower capability. The United States is uniquely well endowed through years of high levels of spending on USAF and UAS capability, but as Dr Christian Anrigg notes, there is a massive gap between American capability and that of other NATO and non-NATO powers. “The US accretion of all-weather precision munitions; stealth technology; netted real-time command, control, communications, and intelligence; unmanned aerial vehicles; and satellite systems has widened the gap with European air forces still further. The evolution and contribution of continental European air forces to recent operations remain largely unexplored, partly because of their limitations and partly because of Anglo-Saxon intellectual domination of air power analysis and concepts.”8

The United States is not the only user of air power; many of its coalition partners and other nations face irregular warfare on their borders or require an airpower capability.

And it is not just continental air forces that have been ignored. Air power and, more importantly, UAV surveillance capabilities, are of significant value to African and Middle Eastern states. Alan Vick quotes the historical example of the value of light aircraft delivering decisive reconnaissance capabilities during the insurgency in and around Rhodesia: “Interestingly, although many consider air power to be a high-technology instrument that only the richest countries can employ, countries with more limited resources have used relatively simple systems to great effect. For example, although Rhodesia also flex more advanced fighter and bomber jets, light civilian aircraft also played an important reconnaissance role during its insurgency”…”Pilots and observers, flying low and WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

The much used MQ-1

Predator UAVs armed

with Hellfire missiles offer

precise weapon targeting

appropriate for counter-

insurgency settings.

slow, became adept at spotting guerrilla tracks and signs in the bush and passing the information to the fire force”.9 As Alan Vick summarizes: “Neither air force nor other military forces, however can by themselves defeat an insurgency, but when used wisely, they can help establish a secure environment within which the other counter insurgency instruments can work”10

The Strategic Value of Air Power in Irregular Warfare The strategic value of UAVs and their surveillance capabilities are several. Firstly, they constrain the range of options of the adversary from conventional to irregular force. “Air power constrains the adversary’s options from the strategic to the tactical level. The value of wide area surveillance airpower makes it difficult for insurgents to shift to conventional tactics.”11 Moreover, it limits the adversary’s capabilities to move in large numbers. For example, today “in Afghanistan and Iraq, airborne surveillance makes it difficult for insurgent forces to move in large numbers. “It also makes it harder, but not impossible, for neighboring countries to offer support. “Air power also limits the options of neighboring countries that might be tempted to intervene in the conflict with conventional forces.”12 The relatively inexpensive option of UAVs offers impact value to a small land force with a limited budget. Armed drones or UAVs are also able to deliver the precision targeting capabilities in the past only associated with manned aircraft. For instance, the much used MQ-1 Predator UAVs armed with Hellfire missiles offer precise weapon targeting appropriate for counter-insurgency settings. However, although there is a reduction in risk of collateral damage, the risk of civilian casualties is often present and can, in COIN operations, always be present.

10 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

UAVs in Action: Lessons Learned Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“They [the USAF Doctrine Center] are the guys who build the box we are all exhorted to think outside.” USAF officer to Group Captain Christopher Finn RAF, Maxwell Air Force Base

T

HE GAP between American UAVs and air capability and the rest of the world is a difference not only in types of equipment but thinking about how they can and should be used. For some British analysts, rapid technological change in precision-guided weapons has not changed the key features of what air power can achieve. “The first technological change has been the advent of relatively cheap and highly accurate precision-guided weapons. The effect of this, even over so short a time-span as the last 18 years, has been to vastly increase the ability of air power to deliver the offensive-based operational effects such as control of the air and strategic effect to support the other environmental commanders. But perhaps the more important development has been that of information technology in its broadest sense which, when coupled with stealth technology and precision weapons, enable increasingly more flexible and focused operational effects. So it would appear that, while air power has developed hugely in the means for its employment, the principles for its application, which were well known at the time of the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918, have not really changed at all”13

The Importance of Speeding up Decision Taking Some American analysts disagree with this assessment and see the key new features of UAVS as being able to speed up the kill chain to the benefit of the attacking forces. “The six steps of the kill chain are abbreviated as F2T2EA and include: 1) Find, 2) Fix, 3) Track, 4) Target, 5) Engage (implying that a decision was made), and 6) Assess.”14 Unmanned Aircraft networked into the GIG (Global Information Grid) can help speed up attack. “UA excel at finding targets of opportunity due to their sophisticated sensors and persistence, and this capability will increase in the future with

The gap between American UAVs and air capability and the rest of the world is a difference not only in types of equipment but thinking about how they can and should be used. greater autonomy and “intelligent” operations. Improved sensors will help UA fix or determine exact target location in preparation for an attack. UA can track a target in order to find the best time to attack or to follow the target back to its base of operations. Future UA can speed up the targeting phase where the target is validated and restrictions are applied. After a decision is made, the UA can engage the hostile target with on-board weapons. Finally, during the assess phase, a UA conducts a battle damage assessment to determine if the desired effects were achieved or if the target must be re-attacked.”15

The Importance of Reflection and Rules of Engagement in Decision Taking However, the ever thoughtful Thomas X Hammes argues that speeding up the kill chain may not WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

One of the key limitations quoted in literature is manning. Currently several operators are required to operate UA which can create bandwidth problems issuing instructions to UAVs.

necessary result in better decision taking. He says what is needed is mission sensitive targeting. “While Time Sensitive Targeting is important, it must not be at the expense of shortcuts with regard to the observe and orientate parts of the cycle, which may, through hurried decide and act, result in counterproductive kinetic activity and unwanted effects.”16 According to Cheater, the kill chain time can come down to 45 minutes, reducing the opportunity for a combatant to escape in a crowd. However, the key delaying feature is the rules of engagement (ROE).17 But “the reality is that decision makers and not technology will often be the limiting factor in reducing the time it takes to kill a target. The decision maker will rarely have all the necessary information but instead will likely have to make a very difficult call. In 2025, technological improvements in autonomous UA operations and communications will quickly provide most of the information required but strict ROE can prevent weapons release. Until the United States improves technically and changes culturally, its kinetic capabilities will exceed its abilities to quickly decide, slowing the kill chain, and providing its enemies with opportunities to escape.”18

Practical Limitations on the Use of UAVs One of the key limitations quoted in literature is manning. Currently several operators are required to operate UA which can create bandwidth problems issuing instructions to UAVs. There are airspace restrictions on operating in some areas. What is more, these expensive systems have been prone to high levels of accidents (many due to icing).19 Further, there has been said to be a shortage of pilot trainers because so many are now operating or training to operate UAVs in Afghanistan.

12 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Future UAS Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

T

here are many future and diverse practical challenges for UAV surveillance systems to respond to in this fast changing field. Alan Vick lists a few of the more straightforward technical drawbacks of many systems: “Significant shortfalls remain, especially in the ability of airborne sensors on platforms flying at medium altitudes to penetrate foliage, detect hidden weapons and explosives, monitor activities inside of structures, or identify personnel. Although USAF can deliver relatively small weapons with great precision, it still lacks options to neutralize individual adversaries in close proximity to noncombatants or friendly personnel, to control crowds, or to prevent movement of people on foot through complex urban terrain.”20 These are all challenges that future system designers will need to seek to work around.

Bandwidth, Bandwidth, Bandwidth While bandwidth provision is a continuing problem, hyper and multi spectral imaging are new features that will demand attention. While multispectral imaging uses fewer bands to generate a composite picture, hyper spectral imaging (HSI) uses continuous bands to create higher resolution images than can be used to detect chemical or biological weapons, assess damage to underground bunkers, or penetrate foliage to detect hidden targets. To reduce the amount of bandwidth required, only parts or chunks of these images may be transmitted.”21 To conclude, UA are and will be considered instead of manned aircraft for missions that are repetitive, require persistence, and pose great risk to humans. The Global Hawk and Predator can currently fly up to 40-hour missions although standard missions today are about 20 hours (depending upon configuration and model). Future sortie durations may only be limited by oil changes, required maintenance, or weapons reloading thanks to Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR). Other issues may also be resolved thanks to long loiter times, improved data-link, and limited numbers of in-theater manned assets.

UA are and will be considered instead of manned aircraft for missions that are repetitive, require persistence, and pose great risk to humans.

Excess Global Use of UAS Indeed, changes in the field of UAVs may not only be technological. There are reports of non-state actors procuring and using UAVs: “The United States is not the only country to capitalize on the importance of UA as sensorshooters. According to OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense), over 32 countries are developing more than 250 different versions of UA. Military leaders in many countries will likely conclude that it’s cheaper and more efficient to maintain large wings of UA than purchase advanced manned platforms and maintain a high pilot proficiency level. Even non-state actors such as Hezbollah have used offensive UA enabled by Google Earth imagery against a state actor. According to Defense Update, Hezbollah penetrated Israeli airspace with Iranian-made UA loaded with explosives on 13 August 2006 but Israel downed both UA.”22

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: ADVANCED UAV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

References: 1

Lucintel: Growth Opportunity in Global UAV Market Lucintel Brief Published: March 2011 http://www.lucintel.com/LucintelBrief/UAVMarketOpportunity.pdf

2

http://www.boeing.com/news/

3

THE JOINT AIR POWER COMPETENCE CENTRE (JAPCC) AIR POWER IN COUNTERING IRREGULAR WARFARE http://www.japcc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/projects/expeditionary_security/080609_Air_Power_in_Countering_Irregular_Warfare.pdf

4

THE JOINT AIR POWER COMPETENCE CENTRE (JAPCC) AIR POWER IN COUNTERING IRREGULAR WARFARE http://www.japcc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/projects/expeditionary_security/080609_Air_Power_in_Countering_Irregular_Warfare.pdf

5

THE JOINT AIR POWER COMPETENCE CENTRE (JAPCC) AIR POWER IN COUNTERING IRREGULAR WARFARE http://www.japcc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/projects/expeditionary_security/080609_Air_Power_in_Countering_Irregular_Warfare.pdf

6

Air power in the new counterinsurgency era: the strategic importance of USAF Alan Vick Rand 2006

7

Air power in the new counterinsurgency era: the strategic importance of USAF Alan Vick Rand 2006

8

Dr Christian Anrig The Quest for Relevant Airpower August 2011 Christian F. Anrig holds a PhD from King’s College London, University of London. He is deputy director, doctrine research and education, Swiss Air Force. From early 2007 until September 2009, he was a lecturer in air power studies in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London while based at the Royal Air Force (RAF) College http://aupress.au.af.mil/digital/pdf/book/b_0125_anrig_quest_relevant_power.pdf

9

http://books.google.com.br/books?id=7UAksJ_WxaEC&pg=PA109&hl=pt-BR&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false Air power in the new counterinsurgency era: the strategic importance of USAF Alan Vick Rand 2006 The USAF role in counter insurgencies:

10

http://books.google.com.br/books?id=7UAksJ_WxaEC&pg=PA109&hl=pt-BR&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false Air power in the new counterinsurgency era: the strategic importance of USAF Alan Vick Rand 2006 The USAF role in counter insurgencies:

11

http://books.google.com.br/books?id=7UAksJ_WxaEC&pg=PA109&hl=pt-BR&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false Air power in the new counterinsurgency era: the strategic importance of USAF Alan Vick Rand 2006 The USAF role in counter insurgencies:

12

http://books.google.com.br/books?id=7UAksJ_WxaEC&pg=PA109&hl=pt-BR&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false Air power in the new counterinsurgency era: the strategic importance of USAF Alan Vick Rand 2006 The USAF role in counter insurgencies:

13

British Thinking on Air Power – The Evolution of AP3000 By Gp Capt Christopher Finn http://www.airpowerstudies.co.uk/APR%20Vol%2012%20No%201.pdf

14

ACCELERATING THE KILL CHAIN VIA FUTURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT Julian C. Cheater, Major, USAF April 2007

15

ACCELERATING THE KILL CHAIN VIA FUTURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT Julian C. Cheater, Major, USAF April 2007

16

THE JOINT AIR POWER COMPETENCE CENTRE (JAPCC) AIR POWER IN COUNTERING IRREGULAR WARFARE http://www.japcc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/projects/expeditionary_security/080609_Air_Power_in_Countering_Irregular_Warfare.pdf

17

ACCELERATING THE KILL CHAIN VIA FUTURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT Julian C. Cheater, Major, USAF April 2007

18

ACCELERATING THE KILL CHAIN VIA FUTURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT Julian C. Cheater, Major, USAF April 2007

19

ACCELERATING THE KILL CHAIN VIA FUTURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT Julian C. Cheater, Major, USAF April 2007

20

http://books.google.com.br/books?id=7UAksJ_WxaEC&pg=PA109&hl=pt-BR&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false Air power in the new counterinsurgency era: the strategic importance of USAF Alan Vick Rand 2006

21

ACCELERATING THE KILL CHAIN VIA FUTURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT Julian C. Cheater, Major, USAF April 2007

22

ACCELERATING THE KILL CHAIN VIA FUTURE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT Julian C. Cheater, Major, USAF April 2007

14 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


Defence Industry Reports… the Defence Industry Reports….the leading specialist combined leading specialist online research andcombined networking online research and networking resource for senior military and resource for senior military and defence industry professionals. defence industry professionals.

Up minute Industry News other content available • to Upthe to the minute Industryand and Technology Technology News andand other content available to to allallsite users on a free of charge, open access basis. site users on a free of charge, open access basis.

Qualifi ed signed upupmembers abletoto access premium content • Qualified signed members are are able access premium content SpecialSpecial Reports andand interact with usinga variety a variety of advanced Reports interact withtheir their peers peers using of advanced onlineonline networking tools. networking tools.

• Designed to help usersidentify identify new solutions, understand the the Designed to help users newtechnical technical solutions, understand implications of differenttechnical technical choices select the the bestbest solutions implications of different choicesand and select solutions available. available.

• Thought Leadership Advice and from internationally recognised Thought Leadership – -Advice andguidance guidance from internationally recognised defence industry key opinion leaders. leaders defence industry key opinion

• Peer Input - Contributions from senior military personnel and defence industry Peer Input – Contributions from senior military personnel and defence professionals industry professionals.

Independent Editorial Content – Expert and authoritative analysis from winning journalists and leading industry commentators award winning journalists and leading industry commentators.

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content.

Designed debate. • Writtento tofacilitate the highest professional standards

Written to the highest professional standards.

Independent Editorial Content - Expert and authoritative analysis from award

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content

Designed to facilitate debate

Visit: www.defenceindustryreports.com

Visit: www.defenceindustryreports.com


Special Report – Advanced UAV Surveillance Systems  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Advanced UAV Surveillance Systems

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you