But it should be noted that most of the drones are in service with the U.S. Army, made up of small UAV, like the Raven, which is 5346 in the ranks of units. If you take 2005, then at that time, only 5% were unmanned aircraft. But it was only seven years old, and the Air Force Pentagon already has drone 7494 and 1067 manned aircraft.
Increased attention should be only a small part of the fleet of unmanned aircraft, specifically because it can not only conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, and is able to strike at the enemy. Namely, a model 161 UAV Predator, which makes almost all combat tasks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and some other countries. It is also necessary to note the languid version of the same drone — MQ-9 Reaper.
But, in spite of an unlimited number of UAVs in service, the Pentagon, as before, a huge amount of funds allocated for the purchase of manned aircraft. Total purchases on their leaves about 92% of the budget planned for the purchase of military aircraft. But since 2001, the military had spent about 26 billion dollars just on unmanned vehicles, with the costs constantly rising.
Safety and reliability of UAVs for all that is constantly growing. Any one of them crashes attracts attention, for example, all of the 38 occurred with the Predator and Reaper in Afghanistan and Iraq flying accidents caused unlimited number of critical comments. The most discussed was the loss of RQ-70 Sentinel in Iran. But despite this, a congressional report contains information that is 100 thousand hours of flight time in Predator came out only 7.5 incidents for comparison, in 2005 the figure was 20. This allows read that UAV Reliability can be associated with the manned fighter aircraft F-16, which considered to be non-hazardous and very reliable car.
But there are drones and shortcomings, namely a sufficiently high price of detectors, which often exceeds the price of vehicles in themselves a couple of times. UAVs also very dependent on bandwidth, data transfer — one UAV Global Hawk required data bandwidth of 500 MB per second. This represents 500% of the total bandwidth capabilities, which was used throughout the U.S. Army during the passage of the 1991 Gulf War. And it has developed new UAV and airships, which will need to receive and transmit more data.
At the end of the report there is mention of the fact that today's boots — this is just the beginning. In the upcoming issue of deck plan of attack aircraft, electronic warfare drones, small UAV-Kamikaze and hypersonic aircraft, which should go into service as early as 2034.