US Doubling Down On Drone Swarm War For Taiwan

(MENAFN- Asia Times) The US seeks to revolutionize drone warfare through the rapid, iterative development and procurement of adaptable, cost-effective Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) drones, now seen as essential for maintaining air superiority against near-peer adversaries.

This month, The Warzone reported US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General David Allvin has recently emphasized the necessity of shifting procurement practices to support the CCA drone program more effectively.

The Warzone notes that the CCA, a vital part of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) initiative, aims to develop a new fleet of drones that will operate with crewed aircraft, particularly in air-to-air combat missions.

The report says the program plans to acquire these drones through so-called iterative development cycles, with the initial phase featuring designs from Anduril and General Atomics.

Allvin highlighted the importance of acquiring drones that are not designed to last for decades but can be quickly replaced or updated to keep pace with technological advancements.

This approach challenges the traditional“built to last” mindset, which often results in expensive and less adaptable systems. The Warzone report notes that the USAF's strategy includes building drones with modularity and adaptability, allowing for easier updates and replacement as technology evolves.

The USAF aims to quickly produce cost-effective combat drones to maintain an advantage in future conflicts, particularly against rivals such as China, the Warzone report said. It notes that the cost-effectiveness and accelerated development cycles, termed“speed-to-ramp,” are critical to achieving this goal.

At the same time, the USAF is dealing with financial challenges and the need for major investments in programs like the Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program, underscoring the importance of re-evaluating the service's traditional procurement and development practices, the Warzone report says.


Asia Times

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