Throughout their long history, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have played very limited roles in warfare. However, with the advent of information warfare and net-centric systems, UAVs are undergoing significant growth in the aerospace industry.
According to a defense and aerospace market analysis firm, Teal Group, UAVs have generated a great deal of interest from the US Military. Over the past four years, the overall UAVinventory of the Pentagon has grown from 217 aircraft to more than 3,428. Previously, UAVs were mainly just used for surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance, but now they are being used for other missions as well.
In the past, UAVs were known by many different names, such as robot plane, drone, pilotless aircraft, and remotely piloted vehicle (RPV). Later, the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a generic class name for them, unmanned aircraft system (UAS), to indicate that these aircraft systems also comprise a datalink, control systems, ground stations, and other related support equipment. However, they are generally known as UAVs .