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C3i for Unmanned Combat: The Potential Impact of Unmanned Combat Vehicles on the U.S. Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence Infrastructure and Doctrine

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Document pages: 30 pages

Abstract: Unmanned combat vehicles have hitherto been perceived as primarily an engineering challenge. As the maturation of this technology nears, however, the integration of unmanned systems into the U.S. arsenal deserves careful attention. This paper seeks to elucidate the potential issues which may arise in the areas of command, control, communications, and intelligence as a consequence of the proliferation of unmanned lethal technologies. This task is accomplished systematically, first by cataloguing the identifying characteristics and functions of unmanned combat vehicles, and then examining the impact of each on elements of C3I. Although definitive conclusions cannot be drawn at this level of analysis, it appears that the predominant issues which will need to be addressed lie in the areas of command and control. Doctrinal changes, as well as a shift in the command style and attitude at all levels, will need to occur before successful gradual integration of lethal unmanned systems into the operational realm can be accomplished.

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