In general the defense unmanned system is defined as “an electronic unmanned system that does not carry a human operator, can be operated autonomously or remotely and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload, ballistic and semi-ballistic vehicles, missiles, artillery guns, torpedoes, satellites and various sensors.”
According to the document, the Pentagon will develop “the defense unmanned technologies” to be used in the air/sea/land domains. The authors of the report are optimistic that such systems will meet future warfighting needs. In so doing, the Pentagon refers to the positive experience of their use in Afghanistan and Iraq. In particular the document reads about the operations in Iraq: “The Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Iraq have flown almost 400,000 flight hours, Unmanned Ground Vehicles have responded to over 11,000 improvised explosive device situations and Unmanned Maritime Systems have provided security to ports.”
In the opinion of experts, the key advantages of the unmanned systems include their high combat performance, proper reliability, inexpensive commercial production costs and minimum human combat exposure.
The development and improvement of state-of-the-art microprocessors, sensors and navigation technologies in the short-term prospects will enable the machines to achieve the human intellectual level and even replace the humans in the battlefield. According to the Roadmap, in spite of the fact that currently the machines only help to the humans in the most dangerous situations (land or sea mine sweeping), in foreseeable future, i.e. 2020, the high technologies will make it possible to replace the human at all.