Unmanned Refuelers, Not a Good Idea

The Rand tanker AOA delved into various platform options, including the use of the ever-more popular unmanned aerial vehicles. The Rand take on a UAV as aerial refueler is thumbs down. “These systems would offer no cost advantages even if their peacetime attrition were at a level comparable to that of manned tankers,” states Rand. And, the AOA states that UAVs have “less operational flexibility than manned tankers.”