South Korea may be intent on developing a fleet of drones that draw inspiration from the animal kingdom, but that doesn't mean it's forgoing some very human characteristics for future unmanned aerial vehicles— namely a giant pair of explosive balls.
In May 1999, then-Lt. Col. David Goldfein's F-16CJ fighter jet was rocked by the explosion of a surface-to-air missile during a mission during the Kosovo War. Ejecting from his aircraft, the future Air Force Chief of Staff landed in a ravine and evaded Serbian fighters until he was rescued by a combat search and rescue team, according to the Washington Post; he was just one of two pilots shot downed as part of Operation Allied Force during the short conflict.
More than two decades after Goldfein's harrowing ordeal, the Air Force is exploring a more elegant option for future combat rescue missions: an unmanned system that, air-dropped onto the battlefield, is capable of whisking downed pilots and other wounded service members out of dangerous territory, Aviation Week reports.
Call it Uber for medevac — just without the surge prices.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell
No matter where you've been with the military, it's time to be sure — and proud — of where you're going when you get out. Regardless of your MOS, you have a path forward in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle field through the undergraduate programs available in person and online at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
And, just to prove it to you, we're going to take 5 completely random and different military occupational specialties and show you how the skills translate.
The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) transits the Hood Canal as it returns home Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, following the boat's first strategic patrol since 2013. (U.S. Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray)
The U.S. naval fleet of the future may one day include submarines without a sailor from bow to stern that prowl the depths of the ocean, navigating mine-infested waters to gather intelligence or even clandestinely drop explosives.
The military views autonomous vehicles as a way to accomplish missions deemed too risky, mundane or expensive for human crews. While aerial drones have largely been tasked with these types of duties for more than a decade, the Navy is now increasingly funding robotic ships and undersea drones to complement the work done by its crewed vessels.