Branzino wrote:Greetings everyone,
I was wondering why in this age of UAV's some air forces still rely on fighter aircraft for reconnaissance missions. The one that springs immediately to mind is the French Air Force, with practically all the Mirages being deployed in a recce role at some time in their past and with the Rafale seeming to continue to follow this tradition. Do these aircraft still possess some advantage over UAV's?
Ozair wrote:Two main reasons.
1. Time – UAVs are great for reconnaissance but they are slow and cannot operate in some weather conditions.
2. Threat – A Mirage/Rafale has the ability to get in and out of a threat zone. No current UAV can turn like a fighter jet, fly as fast as a fighter jet, fire BVR missiles like a fighter jet or has counter-measures to defeat missiles aimed at it.
In the end it comes down to the operational need. Another important point to note is that France is acquiring Reaper UAVs so clearly see the benefits of operating a fast jet recon and UAV recon force together.
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:It of course begs the question that UAVs will probably take over that role once the performance is good enough. But yeah, for the moment the performance capability of in service UAVs just isn't there.
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:It of course begs the question that UAVs will probably take over that role once the performance is good enough.
CX747 wrote:Drones are useful tools in certain environments. They are not peers of fighters or bombers but a different player in the arena. Fighters have greater abilities to fly faster, further and through highly contested airspace. UAVs haven't made that jump yet and may never get there due to sensor costs and bandwith issues.
UAVs have really gotten great publicity in the last 10-15 years. All earned in an environment that is not truly contested. MQ-9s are sitting ducks to a legitimate threats Air Force.
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