Lagging Behind

Much advancement has been made in fielding new unmanned aircraft vehicles and getting actionable information to warfighters on the ground in real time. However, the back end of the US military’s UAV systems of systems enterprise—the collection and analysis of the data and imagery from the overhead sensors on these platforms—“is lagging behind in funding and development,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Shugg, who heads the Center of Excellence for Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems within US Joint Forces Command, said April 1 while addressing an audience at the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement’s Sensor-to-Shooter conference in Arlington, Va. “We’ve outpaced and overlooked the back end,” he said. Yet this back end remains critical for providing intelligence products to the warfighters, he said. —Michael C. Sirak