Why UAVs cannot replace fighter aircraft

Defense Issues

Despite all technocrate’s dreams, aerial combat between peer opponents was always visual-ranged. Reasons for that vary; main reasons are inadvisability of using active sensors, low probability of kill for BVR missiles, and IFF problems. All of these problems are far greater against numerically and technologically comparable (or simply numerically superior) opponent than against numerically and technologically inferior opponent. Thus, WVR combat is likely to remain standard for aerial warfare, along with its large accent placed on OODA loop.

OODA (Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action) loop is fundimental principle of air combat. Fighter pilot first observes situation; after that, he orients based on previously-avaliable and acquired information (nationality of opponent, cultural considerations likely to affect opponent’s actions in current situation, etc.), then decides on further course of action and acts based on that decision. In the next loop, he observes opponent’s reaction to his own action so far as well as new situation, with rest…

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