Current Trends in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Implications for U.S. Special Operations Forces

Published on 9/1/2019
Digital Only

In this new occasional paper, Dr. J. Philip Craiger and Dr. Diane M. Zorri explore current trends in small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) technology and its applications to Special Operations Forces (SOF). The paper begins with analysis of the definition and classification of sUAS, their major applications, and characteristics. The authors then present sUAS military applications, threats, current/future threat scenarios, and counter-sUAS capabilities and technology. The authors conclude with a look at the five-year trends in sUAS to include cyber-enabled counter-sUAS. Setting the stage in their introduction the authors state, "As armed forces around the world continue to invest in research and development of sUAS technologies, there will be tremendous potential to revolutionize warfare, particularly in context of special operations."