Air Combat Command chief Gen. Ronald Keys, plugging the Air Force’s push to be executive agent for all the Pentagon’s high-flying unmanned aerial vehicles, said there’s “no good reason” why the sensors on Army and Air Force UAVs should be different, since they feed a common network that mostly wants the same kind of information. Having different sensors is just one of the elements that USAF leaders believe add unnecessary development and support costs, he told reporters at a press conference at Bolling AFB, D.C., earlier this week. Keys also warned that unless one service—his—is in charge of orchestrating UAVs, midair collisions with manned aircraft and “frequency fratricide” of jamming each other’s communications is inevitable. The Army and friends, of course, take a different view.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.