01 March 2011

Sound Off! Stealth vs Overwhelming Numbers

Which is going to be a more dominant airpower paradigm?

- Stealth technology?

- Overwhelming numbers of lower-tech aircraft?

Your thoughts in the comments!

By: Brant


EastwoodDC said...

A little of both and neither: Swarms of cat-sized remotely operated drones won't need much stealth, and 500 pound bombs are excessive when you can fly a gun into the same room as the target.

Of course, some jobs will always need a bit of deception, or a big boom.

Guardian said...

I think the dominant paradigm for air power will be U(C)AVs, comparable in number to today's fighters and bombers. Some will be stealthy, most non-stealthy. All will have some capability for autonomous/semi-autonomous operation in the event of jamming.

While tiny U(C)AVs like EastwoodDC describes have their place (for example, with an infantry infantry platoon or SOF team), I think larger U(C)AVs offer more flexibility in terms of payload, endurance, and sensors. So I imagine Predator/Reaper-sized U(C)AVs as the "go-to" platforms for most air missions.

I think the days of manned combat aircraft being practical are ending. Whether they persist, like horse calvary, for some years due to cultural factors in world's air forces is, of course, another matter entirely.