Modern warfare is trending toward the use of unmanned vehicles, especially unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Although UAVs are considered the cutting edge of new technology, the Navy began making serious use of them in the early 1960s. As part of the Drone Antisubmarine Helicopter (DASH) program, Gyrodyne Company in St. James, New York, manufactured 758 unmanned antisubmarine warfare (ASW) drones and deployed them to the fleet.1 They were armed and expected to be used in combat operations using both ASW torpedoes and B57 nuclear depth bombs. But the program faded away quickly, lasting less than ten years. With the Navy’s current growing investments in all sorts of new unmanned vehicles, this program should be examined not only for its historical interest but as a lesson on how innovation can fail.
Cold War Anxieties