Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
, a computer-controlled warplane. Boeing
ing it, and they say they will be done testing and ready to send it to war by 2010.
UCAV's advantages over the F-22
is that it is smaller, can fly up to 8 hours per refueling, turns up to 12 Gs, holds more weapons, does not endanger its pilot (who would be giving it periodical commands from the ground), has infinite patience, has better reflexes and accuracy (perhaps it can use guns instead of missiles in combat), requires no training, costs only 45% as much to manufacture and 25% as much to use and maintain. So it's great for boring patrol missions or dangerous search-and-destroy missions.
UCAV's disadvantage is that its AI
, like all AI
s, cannot yet think as subjectively as a human can, so it's bad for missions with ambiguous
goals or uncertain conditions. To undertake such missions, it would require frequent, high-bandwidth radio communication with its pilot on the ground, which the enemy would try to jam.
So UCAV will take time to replace current human piloting jobs. But once it does it will save many lives and billions of dollars.