Medium and High Altitude Unmanned Aircraft System Acquisition: A Study of Efficiency and Capability Magnitude
The purchase of medium and high altitude UAS has increased dramatically since 1988. The DOD now spends billions of dollars on research, testing, development and purchasing medium and high altitude UAS for all military services. In an effort to quickly field to contribute to this extremely capable systems Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), there appeared two major areas of concern.
The level of funding involved and the apparent similarity of UAS capabilities created an indicator of potential inefficiencies in the acquisition process used by DOD. The key medium and high altitude UAS programs in this study were the MQ-1B Predator, MQ-1C Sky Warrior, MQ-9 Reaper, RQ-4 Global Hawk and the wide field Maritime Surveillance (BAMS). This thesis analyzed the scope of the financing involved, the possibility of agreements and the related payload considerations of this important medium and high altitude UAS. Conclusions and further recommendations are based off of quantitative and qualitative analysis and the respective findings.
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