A recent report by the U.S. Department of Defense highlights the Pentagon's desire to adapt roughly 11,000 drones for "lightweight, precision-guided weapons" for emerging threats in the Asia-Pacific region,
"Adapting proven weapons technology with new concepts to take advantage of unmanned systems persistence and emerging net-centric capability, manned and unmanned teaming will be critical to improving the sensor-to-shooter equation and further decreasing the kill chain timeline," the report states, according to military website Defense Tech.
Some ideas for weaponizing drones in new ways include retrofitting drones to use the Cold War-era Hydra 70 rockets and the Laser Homing Attack or Anti-Tank (LAHAT) missile, Defense Tech reported.
The document states that $24 billion is scheduled to be spent on "unmanned air, ground and maritime systems over the next five years through fiscal 2018," according to Defense Tech. For fiscal 2014, $4.1 billion is slated for drone development.
"Unmanned systems can be used in significantly different operating and threat conditions than manned platforms, come in a much wider range of classes and sizes than manned systems, can exhibit greater persistence and endurance than manned systems, and have the potential to support a large range of mission sets," the report states.
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