To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

Expert claims ‘decentralised’ approach holds back USAF next-generation UAV ambitions

6th September 2022 - 16:33 GMT | by Tim Martin in Belfast


An XQ-58A Valkyrie, F-35A Lightning II and F-22 Raptor fly together as part of a test demonstration that allowed the fighters to 'talk' with one another (Photo: Kratos)

Despite a number of Skyborg test successes, a defence expert has questioned how the development of next generation drones will advance without activities being concentrated and clear requirements set out.

A leading defence analyst has told Shephard that efforts by the USAF to advance new UAV concepts are too ‘decentralised’ and lack a ‘centre of gravity’ that would otherwise lead to next-generation capabilities being introduced faster.

‘So far [testing and development] has really involved a “thousand flowers bloom” approach, where AFRL [the US Air Force Research Laboratory] concentrates on their Skyborg work, industry works hard on their operations analysis and the Air Force struggles with what their requirements should be,’ said Caitlin Lee, senior fellow at the Mitchell Institute’s Center for UAV and Autonomy Studies.

‘Activity right now around next-generation drones is

Already have an account? Log in

Want to keep reading this article?

Read this Article

Get access to this article with a Free Basic Account

  • Original curated content, daily across air, land and naval domains
  • 1 free story per week
  • Personalised news alerts
  • Daily and weekly newsletters
  • Free magazine subscription to all our titles
  • Downloadable equipment data handbooks
  • Distribution rights (Corporate only)
Create account

Unlimited Access

Access to all our premium news as a Premium News 365 Member. Corporate subscriptions available.

  • Original curated content, daily across air, land and naval domains
  • 14-day free trial (cancel at any time)
  • Unlimited access to all published premium news
  • 10-year news archive access
  • Downloadable equipment data handbooks
  • Distribution rights (Corporate only)
Start your free trial
Tim Martin


Tim Martin

Tim Martin is Air Editor for Shephard Media, based in Belfast. 

Tim has experience writing …

Read full bio

Share to