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Unmanned Vehicles

It will only take a few years for the U. S military to own unmanned vehicles which include robotic helicopters, aircrafts, submarines, ships, tractors, tanks and trucks. Already some are on the ground, which assist in surveillance and other operations. These unmanned vehicles will be instrumental in performing missions that are autonomous and work alongside human beings (Weber, 2010).

This essay seeks to explore different types of these vehicles and their uses. Unmanned space vehicles Recently in the U.S, a small shuttle called X-37B was launched. The size of this shuttle amounts to a quarter of the normal one and it has a length of 9 m or 29ft with a wing span of 4. 5m. It uses solar cells and batteries that contain lithium ions to power its engines. This makes it different from the ordinary crafts that use fuel. Its engine is situated at the rear making it easy for orbit changing. The shuttle or the plane can be reused and it resembles a sports car and has a trunk capacity just like the one of a sports car (Mail Foreign Service, 2010).

The shuttle is said to be able to perform functions such as navigation, testing of guidance, control and thermal protection. It is also said to be able to re-enter the earth and land safely and also carry out other autonomous functions in orbit. The plane has been programmed in such a way that it can hover over other countries and is capable of evading being shot at. The plane was designed in order to speed up other systems such as weapons and combat –support systems (Mail Foreign Service, 2010). Unmanned submarine vehicles These were created to make it easy to explore even the most hostile ocean environment.

The vehicle has a diameter of 21 inches and can be recovered in torpedo tubes. With its sonar capability, it can provide data on navigation. It can also move around while still attached to the submarine using a fiber optic cable. Long term system is another manned submarine vehicle which uses a global positioning system for guidance, control and navigation. It is also capable of communicating with the host submarine through Ultra High Frequency. Moreover, it is capable of covering a distance of 100 nautical miles and self propel itself.

All these make it easy to venture into the most hostile marine environments (Johnson, 2002). Unmanned ground/Land vehicles One of these vehicles is called guardian observation system which is usually controlled from command center. They are mostly used to carry out patrols and are capable of responding to emergencies swiftly. Some of them have been designed to use force to eliminate particular threats. They have tactical positioning systems which operate automatically and have a speed of 80km/hour. They are capable of carrying sensors, cameras, sensitive microphones and loudspeakers.

They can also be used to carry weapons of lethal nature (Defense Update 2009). Others include assault breacher vehicles which have lane marking systems and plows. Gladiator is another one which is capable of firing against an enemy. It has video cameras, acoustic detection system among other components. They mainly enhance combat missions (Parks, nd). Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS) These types of vehicles are piloted using remotes and are capable of carrying cameras, communication equipments and sensors. They are mostly used to gather intelligence information.

However, many experts are envisioning coming up with those aerial vehicles that can be used for combat missions. One example of such vehicles is called Tactical UAV which can cover a distance of 200 km. Another one is the predator which can cover 500 nautical miles and thus provide intelligence information to theater commandos and joint task forces. The global hawk is another aerial vehicle which is very instrumental in wide area surveillance. The tactical control station provides the software and communication link to these UAVs (After Good, 2010).

In conclusion, these vehicles have mainly been designed to assist and work hand in hand with human beings and thus they have been very instrumental in carrying out tasks that are impossible to be handled by man.


After Good, S. (2010). Unmanned Aerial vehicles. Retrieved from http://www. fas. org/irp/program/collect/uav. htm Defense Update (2009). Guardian. Defense magazine Retrieved from http://defense-update. com/products/g/guardium. htm Johnson, E. (2002). Unmanned military vehicles and guided missile submarines. Retrieved from http://www. au.

af. mil/au/awc/awcgate/cst/csat27. pdf Mail Foreign Service. (2010). State wars 2010? U. S military launch space plane on maiden voyage…but its mission is top secret. Retrieved from http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/worldnews/article-1268138/X-37B-unmanned-space-shuttle-launched-tonight. html Parks, R. (nd). UGV program Brief. Retrieved from http://www. isd. mel. nist. gov/documents/szabo/IEEE_SIC90. ps Weber, A. (2010). Unmanned military vehicles. Retrieved from http://www. assemblymag. com/Articles/Cover_Story/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000788567

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