Murphy's Law: August 12, 2001


The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (aka, robot recon drone) is evolving, both technologically, tactically, and culturally. More experience has shown that even with a human being looking at the television picture transmitted from a drone hundreds of miles away, it is fairly easy to fool the observer with a clever decoy, far more so than fooling a human pilot flying directly over the target. UAVs were originally seen as almost throwaway systems that could be expended, each drone being good for one detailed view of a heavily defended target. As they have increased in capability, the expense has also climbed, and UAV operators are now refusing to fly certain missions because their aircraft (even without a human pilot) are too expensive (and in too short a supply) to risk. --Stephen V Cole


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