A New Unmanned Roadmap

The Defense Department has released its latest unmanned systems roadmap (caution, large file), providing guidance for acquisition, development, and integration for the next 25 years. (It is no longer an unmanned aerial vehicle roadmap; it now includes land and maritime systems.) The executive summary notes that this initial consolidated plan will be followed by “a truly integrated Unmanned Systems Roadmap in January 2009.” And, future roadmaps will provide “specific methodology, metrics, and assignments to achieve” goals stated in this plan. Among those goals is “improved integration and Joint Services collaboration.” The first question at the plan rollout concerned whether the roadmap addressed Army and Air Force UAV issues as directed by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England in September. Dyke Weatherington, deputy director of the DOD UAS task force, replied: “That general activity falls in a couple of our goal areas. One of our goal areas is to consistently reduce cost where possible. The integration of the Air Force Predator and Army Sky Warrior program meets that goal. … It also attempts to address goal one, which is the better integration of the forces among our joint forces. And, so the short answer to your question is, that activity is ongoing and it is fully consistent with our roadmapping activities.” Catch you later.