Command and control remains a major issue, especially for Ucavs, and the ability of unmanned aircraft to survive long enough to complete their missions in a hostile environment of surface-to-air weapons
and aerial opponents remains unproven.
Techniques for making aircraft more survivable to crashes and impervious to enemy surface-to-air weapons
range from super-secret signature reduction designs, to advanced sensors to detect incoming weapons, to simpler methods, such as lining the fuel tank with foam.
The air defence regiment would be wound up, said reports, because the Rapier B2 surface-to-air weapons
it specialises in are now obsolete and due to be taken out of service by 2005.
Patriots are guided supersonic surface-to-air weapons
designed to intercept enemy missiles and aircraft with explosive warheads.
Although incorporating stealth design features this is more of a traditional corvette with MBDA Tetral multiple launchers for Mistral man-portable surface-to-air weapons
and Exocet Block II anti-ship missiles.
Radar-guided surface-to-air weapons
, conversely, are relatively easy to detect.
The warning came after a CIA briefing revealed terror cells had smuggled lightweight surface-to-air weapons
into the US.
Three SAM surface-to-air weapons
were unleashed at the jets as they patrolled a no-fly zone in northern Iraq.