By Dr. Robert Gordon
Program Director, Reverse Logistics Management at American Public University
Manned aircraft and missions have been the mainstay of the United States since the inception of the Air Force. But there has been a rise in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, despite resistance from military leaders.
In fact, the U.S. Air Force initially rejected the wildly successful Predator unmanned drone program. It took quite a bit of convincing to get the U.S. government to move forward with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.
Increasing Expertise of Russian UAV Technology
On the other hand, Russia has worked on UAV technology since the 1980s. Many people may not remember the Russian space shuttle program since it was short-lived and never reached the level of productivity that the U.S. space shuttle program did. What many people may have forgotten was that Russian engineers built the Russian space shuttle to operate as an unmanned vehicle.
Over the years, Russian UAV technology has continually improved. By 1988, the Russians perfected remote vehicle operations for the most complex aerial technology available at the time.