US Launching Programs For Unmanned Strategic Flying Platforms - Air Force Secretary

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th January, 2022) The United States is launching new programs to develop next generation unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, for both tactical attacks and long-range strategic operations, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said on Wednesday.

"I am starting programs for uncrewed aircraft, both short range tactical level and long range strategic level," Kendall told a Center for a New American Security podcast.

The new concept was driven in considerable part by budgetary limitations on the development and acquisition of highly expensive large manned aircraft, Kendall said.

"These have got to be cheaper platforms. This opens up a whole range (of possibilities). ...We are going to work with industry. We are going to bring people in. (The more advanced UAVs) offer a way to bring mass which we cannot afford with the larger manned platforms," Kendall said.

Air Force planners were considering among other options the concept of having a manned aircraft controlling multiple unmanned aircraft tat would operate as a team, Kendall added.