Manned vs Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Combat Essay
The F9F Panther became the first Navy manned jet fighter to shoot down another fighter in 1947 (Pike). Through 2040, the F-35 will be the premier strike aircraft, second only to the F-22 Raptor (Jean). These manned jets are employed for air superiority, neutralizing enemy aircraft, and providing air support. Manned aircraft are equipped with copious types of ordinances for a variety of situations that the UAV’s are lacking. Those ordinances used for day and night strikes include precision guided weapons, anti- air warfare, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defense, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control, and capabilities as a tanker (Weitz). Military victory is dependent on the flexibility to protect allied airspace, as well as eliminating ground targets that only manned aircraft can provide.
The deployment of UAV’s has only recently started, making its first appearance in 1999 (Colon). According to the United States Department of the Navy, unmanned aircraft make up one percent of the United State’s aerial inventory. Raul Colon wrote in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: A Brief Look at the United States UAV-RPA Strategic Vision, “UAV’s have been used by the