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The U.S. military has begun informally referring to unmanned aerial “systems” rather than “vehicles,” a change that will soon become official and in part is designed to stress the idea that the aircraft are just one facet in a complex network of systems, Dyke Weatherington, deputy of the Pentagon’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle planning task force, told reporters Aug. 17.
The so-called UAS Roadmap, a 213-page vision statement for unmanned programs, was approved Aug. 4.
The military’s procurement of unmanned systems is not likely to result in large-scale multiyear purchases, which are commonly needed to ensure development funds for increasingly complex cutting-edge manned fighters.