The Contribution of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to ISTAR Capability: Thirteenth Report of Session 2007-08 Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence - House of Commons Papers Session 2007-08, 535 (Paperback)
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Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) is a key military capability and is fundamental to Network Enabled Capability (NEC). Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as an important means of collecting ISTAR information. The capabilities of UAVs have increased significantly in recent years and the pace of change is likely to increase in line with technological advances. The acquisition of UAVs such as Reaper and Hermes 450 are providing our Armed Forces with 'battle winning capabilities', and are proving effective in the counter-insurgency style of operations which they face in Iraq and Afghanistan.In addition to collecting ISTAR information, a UK Reaper UAV has fired its weapon system in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan. The MoD will also be acquiring the Watchkeeper UAV system. This report examines the wide range of challenges, some of which are international or cross-departmental, which have to be addressed in order to exploit fully the benefits offered by UAVs. Key challenges of this title include bandwidth and issues relating to airspace and air traffic control. The report also notes manning deficits in UAV operators and imagery analysts.
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