posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 01:07 PM
reply to post by roadgravel
Current UAVs (everyone's, not just ours) will survive a matter of minutes in contested airspace. An RQ-170, or something similar is the only thing
that will last any length of time, but when you only have 20, you can't use them for every mission, from anti-piracy near someone's airspace, to
monitoring weapons areas. You'd have to have the entire UAV force made up of them, which would be expensive as hell.
With a manned escort, depending on where they are flying, you could have an alert flight, on the ground, pilots in cockpit, ready to go, in an Alert
10 situation. An AWACS can detect a fighter launch as soon as they're wheels up, and can plot a course in a few minutes. If your escort is carrier
launched, they can respond faster, but the super cruise on an F-22 also allows a fast response time. So you can be saving money, as your escort
wouldn't be airborne the entire mission.