Airforce to train more UAV operaters than real pilots

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Airforce to train more UAV operaters than real pilots

The movement to a cheaper more automated airforce has begun. The growing ranks of drone operators mark a turning point for the Air Force as it looks to a future that relies increasingly on unmanned aircraft.

Over the next few decades, the Air Force plans to develop drones that would serve as fighters, bombers and tankers, the heart of its manned fleet, according to its Unmanned System Update. The document says piloted aircraft will be used in concert with drones…

The Air Force will train 240 pilots to fly Predator and Reaper drones compared with 214 fighter and bomber pilots for the budget year that ends in September. Overall, there are 550 drone pilots compared with 3,700 fighter and 900 bomber pilots. The current emphasis for drones reflects the need for persistent, eye-in-the-sky surveillance to track and kill insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

... Quote:
The capability provided by the unmanned aircraft is game-changing. We can have eyes 24/7 on our adversaries. The importance of that is clear in the feedback from the ground troops — this is a capability they don’t want to be without.
said Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff.

Loren Thompson, a military analyst with the Lexington Institute, said intelligence gathering has been a weakness for the Pentagon for years but has improved recently. “The Air Force has now gotten the message that it’s important to be responsive to the war fighters on the ground,” he said.

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By netchicken: posted on 17-6-2009

Can't say I'm all that suprised. Thankfully it's paying off, because violence does seem to be down lately in those "war" countries.
By mg.mikael: posted on 18-6-2009








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