Tiny, cheap, unmanned and hard-to-detect aircraft are transforming conflicts across region.
In the history of modern warfare, “own the skies, win the war” has been a constant maxim. Countries with the best technology and biggest budgets have devoted tens of billions to building modern air forces, confident they will continue to give their militaries primacy in almost any conflict.
Tiny, cheap, unmanned aircraft have changed that, especially over the battlefields of the Middle East. In the past three months alone, drones have made quite an impact in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and possibly now Saudi Arabia, where half the country’s oil production – and up to 7% of the world’s global supply – has been taken offline by a blitz that caused no air raid sirens and seems to have eluded the region’s most advanced air warning systems.
Drones are now an integral part of the inventory of the region’s most advanced militaries, and the also-rans. Non state actors have been clamouring to secure them as well – convinced by the utility of hard-to-detect, dispensable flying toys to be used as weapons of war. […]
The strikes on Saudi Arabia are clear strategic warning that the era of fast jet air supremacy is over. The US in particular will need to take heed. Its sway in the region has in part hinged on its ownership of the skies and the lethal threat its air force poses. The cost of waging a consequential war is not so high after all. Läs artikel
Anm. Läs också Mats Björkenfeldts artikel ”Klicken som vill driva internationell social ingenjörskonst”:
”McFate frågar sig vidare varför USA satsat på F-35 fighters till en kostnad av 1,5 biljoner USD, för ett i stort värdelöst plan. ’Future wars will be low tech’ (s. 46).”