Pioneering ARIUAVs: Boosting Combat Power Projection and Resilience
Tuesday June 6, 2023
The big picture: The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is examining new weapons systems and employment concepts to enhance its combat power projection. Their attention is notably geared towards affordable runway-independent unmanned aerial vehicles (ARIUAVs) which could offer more operational resiliency in light of potential enemy targeting of runways, according to a Rand Report.
Catch up quickly: ARIUAVs are seen as a valuable asset for the USAF, capable of conducting high-volume combat operations with fewer resources than traditional platforms. Their primary advantage lies in their runway independence, making them less susceptible to hostile attacks targeting fixed infrastructure.
Between the lines: The key to effective ARIUAV operations is reducing the turn time—the time needed to prepare an ARIUAV for its next mission. This factor largely determines the combat power that an ARIUAV unit can deliver. The report also highlights that nontraditional support concepts could lower the logistics and support footprint associated with ARIUAV operations.
By the numbers: Currently, specific ARIUAV methods being considered, such as rocket-assisted takeoff rockets and parachute/airbags, considerably add to the sustainment footprint. However, the report finds that few traditional USAF capabilities are fit for the type of expeditionary, runway-independent operations that ARIUAVs require.
What’s next: The report recommends continuing to explore methods for launching ARIUAVs that don’t need a takeoff run, and implementing precision-guided recovery methods to reduce turn times. It also calls for the institutionalization of nonmainstream capabilities into USAF tactics to improve operational resilience and the exploration of alternative capabilities better suited to future force needs.
The bottom line: The future of air warfare may rely heavily on ARIUAVs. This report recommends aggressive exploration and adaptation of logistics, support, and operational concepts to cater to these emerging systems.
The Amulus angle: Amulus’s Robus Safe Haven could serve as a highly relevant asset in this scenario. Given that ARIUAVs operate without relying on fixed infrastructure, a mobile, robust safe haven for personnel becomes crucial. The Robus unit’s superior build quality and ballistic protection make it an ideal choice to ensure the safety of defense leaders and troops, regardless of the challenging environments they operate in. Additionally, the state-of-the-art emergency communication systems in the Robus Safe Haven align perfectly with the need for a robust and secure communication system for ARIUAV operations. Thus, Amulus Robus Safe Haven can provide the necessary support in high threat jurisdictions and play an integral role in the success of ARIUAV operations.