Showing posts from December, 2020


via National Interest Introduction Armed UAVs and loitering munitions play an increasing role in warfare.  UAVs are typically classified into five Groups, by size range. Fixed-wing UAVs above Group 3 usually require a runway.  This limits their ability to generate sorties when their operating area is not in close proximity to the airfield.  Transit too and from the airfield becomes a significant factor in the overall sortie time. Rotary-wing aircraft like the MQ-8C Fire Scout, which is slow and non-stealthy, or smaller UAVs like USN/USMC STUAS can sortie from areas closer to their operating area and return to Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARPs), to shorten their turn around times between sorties.  However, they are vulnerable to all manner of air defenses and/or don't carry very much. MQ-8C Fire Scout STUAS Typically, armed ISR and Close Air Support comes from larger, fixed-wing UAVs like the Army's MQ-1C Grey Eagle and USAF's MQ-9 Reaper, but they require a runway.