Military unmanned systems are changing the overall dynamics of warfare and are gradually becoming an integral part of the military arsenal. Military unmanned systems are operated on air, land and sea and accordingly they can be classified into three segments: Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) and Unmanned Sea Vehicles (USV). Of these three unmanned systems, UAV and UGV are the most used ones. The Unmanned Sea vehicles, majorly used in commercial applications such as oil & gas exploration and scientific research, are also gaining importance in defence. The unmanned systems in military are majorly used for surveillance, air strikes and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) disposal, etc. These military unmanned systems operate best when they are integrated well with the manned resources.
The currently used military unmanned systems are quite reliable and have good sensors and computational ability. However, further technological advancements are required on “autonomy”, so that unmanned systems can carry out defence operations with little or no human intervention. In addition, unmanned systems should be standardised so that they are able to operate between different systems. With increasing automation, cyber security is emerging as a major challenge for military unmanned systems.
United States is the technology leader in the development of military unmanned systems. However, other countries are following suit as they realise the advantages of military unmanned systems, resulting in increased adoption of these systems.
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