The United States must overcome the bureaucratic and technical barriers so it has the superior drones needed to prevail in future combat.
Advances in technology have enabled the deployment of aerial drones into hostile territory, with human operators monitoring and controlling them from a safe distance. Increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will continue to reduce risks to human operators by replacing them with pilotless vehicles to perform dangerous missions. At the same time, nation-state and non-state actors aim to exploit UAV swarming tactics to their advantage. The United States must overcome existing technological barriers to employ swarms of retrievable and reusable drones.