Armed drones are becoming a “global challenge
The French “Le Monde” website published an article entitled “The Rise of Armed Drones, a Global Challenge” on December 31, 2019, saying that on June 20, 2019, US President Trump almost launched a war: the day Iran fired ground-to-air missiles and shot down a US Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft. The aircraft was flying over 10,000 meters above the Strait of Hormuz. Fortunately, conflict escalation was finally avoided.
Three months later, on September 14, 2019, another heavy incident broke out: a drone air strike destroyed two Saudi Aramco oil facilities. The weapons were more than 10 cruise missiles and about 20 were used as guided bombs. Drone. The United States suspects that the attack was carried out by Iran.
The article commented that one lesson in the series of incidents is worth summing up: military drones have won their place in strategic confrontation among big powers.
Christophe Fontaine, a former French Air Force expert hired by General Atomic Energy, said: “The use of drones for air strikes at Aramco’s oil facilities is not a technological breakthrough, but a strategic one. This can be a poverty without Western weapons An option for the National Air Force. “
The article claims that 2019 marks the end of the 10 years of great changes. This is the 10 years of explosive development of “remotely controlled aircraft systems” at all levels. According to statistics from Bard College researchers, the number of countries and regions using drones has increased by 58% (to 95) in the past 10 years. They found that 171 drones were already flying in the air. The development of land and marine drones has also begun.
The article believes that with the explosive growth of the number, drone operations have begun to normalize. Darn Geitinger, co-author of the “Drone Data Book” published by Bard College in September 2019, noted that drones have become “a standard military device.” He said: “In geopolitical conflict areas such as Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf, more and more models and different types of drones have appeared. Human and machine have become an important promoter of modern war. “
The article said that the use of drones to “terrorist organizations” is becoming the most obvious military means. Since the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, U.S. air force long-duration UAVs represented by “Death” have performed tens of thousands of missions in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, U.S. military drones have also conducted nearly a thousand targeted air strikes.
New areas of drone use are also being expanded around the world. In sensitive border areas, drones are used to combat transboundary violations.
More and more drones are “falling” on the battlefield, some due to mechanical failures, and others being shot down. For a modern army, losing a drone is easier to accept than losing an officer.
At the same time, the vulnerability of drones is forcing the military to adapt better. After Iran laid down U.S. military drones in the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Air Force even suggested that 21 of the 35 “Global Hawk” drones should be put in storage, arguing that maintenance costs are too high and obvious disadvantages (no defense arms). Some American experts believe that in a high-intensity combat environment, it is better to use a heavy stealth bomber than to use such a drone, which can break through the opponent’s powerful air defense systems.
Jean-Christophe Noel, a researcher at the French Institute of International Relations who has previously been a fighter pilot, believes that the use of drones is still immature. The aircraft can best meet military applications. At present, the military is improving sensors and weapons on drones, and is also exploring what role humans should play in autonomous drone operations. “
Will the pioneers of drone war still be ahead in the next 10 years? The article argues that the United States need not worry too much about being overtaken. In 2019, the Pentagon requested Congress to approve $ 9.5 billion for the purchase of 3,500 types of unmanned equipment, including drones, unmanned combat vehicles, or unmanned ships, which is $ 2 billion more than in 2018. Israel is a true pioneer in the field of drones, and it will retain its advantages. Iran, Turkey, the UAE … Some new countries are disrupting the geopolitical landscape of drones and are writing a new page.