|The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS)|
Onboard USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75)
I know the Department of Defence (DoD) is very enamored of these flying semi-robots being flown by a dude in a trailer hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away. And they're fine as long as we're not engaged in fighting a nation-state. As long as we're chasing hill tribes through the mountains or nefarious types wandering the desert in Land Rovers, these things will work.
Put one of those things up against even a semi-trained human pilot in a fairly modern jet aircraft? Mr. Drone up there gets his ass handed to him just about every time.
My contention is that against a real opponent, with a real Air Force, those drones won't stand a chance. Even if the communications from Mr. Drone to Mr. Pretend Pilot sitting in a trailer in freaking Utah aren't interrupted, the guy in the trailer isn't in the fight. He can't feel the situation. He doesn't have that 360 degree situational awareness that is life or death in a real aerial fight.
No sir, Mr. Bad Guy will put Mr. Drone in an awkward spot and either finish the semi-robot with a missile or gun him with the ever popular 20mm cannon. Mr. Drone won't be coming home, so put your Mattel joystick away and have another Mountain Dew Mr. Pretend Pilot, you're out of the fight.
Drones are a contractor's wet dream. They're expensive and will take years to perfect. And DoD will keep tweaking the requirements and telling the public that they're sons and daughters will never have to go in harm's way again. The drones will do the fighting.
Just so we're clear. No. I don't like drones. Not even a little.