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Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Abstract

Predictions of widespread adoption of UAVs for every airpower task are overzealous. This article uses innovation theory to critically analyze the likely future of UAVs using a framework of expected benefits and costs of adoption across core air force missions: air superiority; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); rapid global mobility; global strike; and command and control (C2). While UAVs will certainly take on an expanded role in warfare, predictions of universal military adoption of UAVs are overzealous because they fail to incorporate the total costs associated with adoption of new technology for a large organization.

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