Are drones the total future of air warfare?

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#1
The last thing anyone wants to hear is that any of our servicemen are killed or captured. The use of drones keeps people from being harmed and serve some of the same goals that actual pilots have done. It certainly reduces the amount of people who could get shot down. Will this be our future where all air warfare for the most part is conducted with drones? I don't think so, but I think it could significantly increase across the world and make up for about half of the world's air missions by 2100.
 
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#2
Perhaps long in the future, but in the foreseeable future direct human input is still far superior. A pilot can react to many more circumstances much more quickly, which is a necessity in situations like dog-fights. Controlled drones, on the other hand, can suffer from delays between input and action.
 
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#3
Perhaps long in the future, but in the foreseeable future direct human input is still far superior. A pilot can react to many more circumstances much more quickly, which is a necessity in situations like dog-fights. Controlled drones, on the other hand, can suffer from delays between input and action.
In the short term I agree with you. The future is in autonomous drones which act as swarms, they can be a lot smaller, and they do not have G-Force limitations like a pilot. Also since they are drones a lot of weight is saved eliminating safety features etc. As a result you can build a lot more drones for the cost of one regular plane.

It always in the end comes down to economics and volume. One regular plane swarmed by 10 drones will be pretty hard pushed.
 
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#4
I think they will be important, but will not eliminate the need for pilots. A person is able to make better quick decisions the less equipment there is between them and their target. I don't think one can take in visual information as well when looking at a screen as when seeing it directly where you can use your periferal vision as well.
 
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#5
The last thing anyone wants to hear is that any of our servicemen are killed or captured. The use of drones keeps people from being harmed and serve some of the same goals that actual pilots have done. It certainly reduces the amount of people who could get shot down. Will this be our future where all air warfare for the most part is conducted with drones? I don't think so, but I think it could significantly increase across the world and make up for about half of the world's air missions by 2100.
The third world war which to me is imminent is going to be about man and machines. Drones and robots will play a significant role in that war whereby human casualties will be minimized. Advanced drones will play a key role in the battle front as well as other advanced gadgetry.
 
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#6
I'm not sure we will ever want drones to be completely self reliant. For fighters you need speed of reaction therefore you need a pilot in the plane. For bombers, like the ones we already have, there's more time to react therefore a person stationed on the other side of the planet can effectively control them. Personally I'd rather not have fully autonomous planes capable of killing.
 
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In the short term I agree with you. The future is in autonomous drones which act as swarms, they can be a lot smaller, and they do not have G-Force limitations like a pilot. Also since they are drones a lot of weight is saved eliminating safety features etc. As a result you can build a lot more drones for the cost of one regular plane.

It always in the end comes down to economics and volume. One regular plane swarmed by 10 drones will be pretty hard pushed.
That is a very good point. I never considered the effectiveness of drones in large groups.

However, when we reach the stage where we can have autonomous drones acting in concert, the state of warfare will likely be autonomous machine vs autonomous machine. In such an era, wars may last only days but I wonder what the consequences will be for humans!
 
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#8
In theory, this is a good idea. I love the idea of no soldiers getting killed, captured, or tortured. However, innocent civilians still are. Since there would be no more soldiers, only drones, it would now be drones vs civilians, instead of soldiers vs soldiers. Unless we spend billions on robots killing other robots, which is COMPLETELY pointless, we would just have robots killing civilians, which is awful. Using drones further shows that there is no purpose of war, and how the leaders of countries are doing nothing but playing monopoly with their citizen's lives.
 
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#9
Very good question. The advantages of using drones are unquestionable, but I don't think that the world will see fighter type drones. Why? Because they will be pretty expensive, maybe not so expensive like a fighter jet and it will maybe save some lives, but as we all know, money talks. This drones need a lot of power to caryy heavy weapons, high-tech guidance systems and other stuff like this. This means their price will be pretty high. Maybe I am wrong, time will tell.
 
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#10
I think they will prevent deaths, and even lower casualties in the war and may even win wars for us which will be amazing and take the meaning of war out as it will be a new age where the machine fights for the humans. The cost could be higher and depends on what materials are used and how long it takes to make a drone and having it armed which will determine the budget being used. The government may fund it and taxpayers money, which will help make these sort of drones are reality and one day they will be used for war and take the pressure off humans and do the job.
 
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#11
I would have to agree with most people here.
The problem with drones is that they are controlled by someone sat far away, devoid of emotion and general presence. A camera can only show so much. Often in war, it is important that one is there to experience it and therefore make decisions that are correct. Also, drones are electrical, and are therefore highly susceptible to EMP attacks. Humans are not affected by EMP and can continue to fight in the case of one being detonated.
 
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#12
That is a very good point. I never considered the effectiveness of drones in large groups.

However, when we reach the stage where we can have autonomous drones acting in concert, the state of warfare will likely be autonomous machine vs autonomous machine. In such an era, wars may last only days but I wonder what the consequences will be for humans!
Wars are won by economics. So which country produces the most, coupled with how efficent they are in destroying the enemies infrastructure.

So you can actually calculate average cost to kill an enemy soldier / civilian. For things like bombing of factories you can calculate amount spent for each bombing raid versus the amount of damage incurred.

The dollar value of each soldier and civilian can be calculated. Since civilans produce things you can calculate his dollar value.

So if a country has a large population, and an AK-47 costs $100. If USA has to spend $500,000 on bombs or ordinance to kill the one guy with the A-47, on the longterm this type of war can not be one. So with drones it comes into cost per drone versus guy with rifle.

A pilot and aircraft is more valuable then an infantryman with a rifle. The pilot requires a huge amount of training, so from an economic standpoint, he is worth a lot more then an infantryman.

Morally speaking all life is equal. Dollars and cents will, sadly this is not the case. A 12 year old kid has little value economically, brainwash the kid to strap some plastic explosive on himself, he rushes some military checkpoint, blows himself up and kills 4 soldiers. From an economic standpoint this is a victory.
 
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#13
I don't think they will ever fully replace human pilots. I think there are many things that can be done with drones that are not, such as close air support. It will be a long time before AI is smart enough to take over in combat jets though.
 
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#14
While drones are an integral part of fighting terrorism and our enemies abroad, I think its highly unlikely they will replace planes completely. You cant remove the human element completely. Some missions will require human being because situations and circumstances change during war. Some things you cant plan for.
 
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#15
I feel that the drones offer an interesting opportunity for the United States military. Drones can do bombings on select targets. Scouting can be done by drones, not a service member. Drones are relativity low cost and can be outfitted with cameras, plus a host of other accessories. Drones can be the future and help supplement our military.
 

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