Are manned aircraft about to go the way of the Pony Express or silent movies? Has the last generation of manned fighter pilots already been born? Probably not, but it is clear that unmanned aerial systems are going to have an increasing impact both on the battlefield and on commercial air operations. UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have already become a vital part of the United States military arsenal and they are finding new applications in civilian life every day. Modern military UAVs have revised the the whole concept of aerial surveillance and close air support. Providing extensive coverage of the battlefield and delivering lethal payloads with surgical precision, UAVs are guided by satellite and can be directed by personnel sitting in a trailer halfway around the world. Similarly, UAVs are taking hold in the civilian world doing jobs as diverse as border patrol and crop dusting. This book is intended to provide a quick overview of what military and commercial UAVs are, how they're being used, how they operate and what impact they may have on the present and future.
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