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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a “drone,” is an aircraft with no pilot on board, remotely controlled from the ground and/ or flying in part autonomously (preprogrammed or navigated by automation systems). Currently, various types of UAVs of different shapes, sizes, characteristics, and capabilities are used by the U.S. military for diverse missions: from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to attack. Their applications have been largely multiplied by the technological innovations introduced since the early 1990s. During the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the heavy use of UAVs has been such an exceptional feature that the future of air power is increasingly seen as belonging to the drones.

Historical Background

The modern record of pilotless systems begins with a British project aimed at ...

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