Mixed Flight Force Proves Most Efficient

10 January 2010 (Last Updated January 10th, 2010 18:30)

The US Army has identified that a mixed flight force of manned and unmanned helicopters could give major benefits when compared with the results of manned-only helicopter forces. The army found that drone cooperation could locate and kill 90% of targets, whereas manned helicopter forces l

The US Army has identified that a mixed flight force of manned and unmanned helicopters could give major benefits when compared with the results of manned-only helicopter forces.

The army found that drone cooperation could locate and kill 90% of targets, whereas manned helicopter forces located just 70% of targets.

US Army unmanned aerial systems roadmap development team chief Col. Chris Carlile said an unmanned Kiowa Warrior helicopter was able to fly several miles ahead of the main helicopter force and tip off piloted Kiowas of enemies before the helicopters were spotted.

The army is considering whether to integrate manned or unmanned Kiowa Warriors with units that fly the RQ-7 Shadow drone and is expecting to receive a major boost in unmanned aircraft with the Quadrennial Defense Review.