UAV Logistics for Life-Cycle Management
Although an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) does not require a crew onboard, it is a kind of flying platform, which requires nearly the same logistics support similar to the most manned aircraft. UAV system is a system of the systems. Thus, UAV logistics support should cover the required support for all subsystems of the UAV system including unmanned aircraft and, ground control station.
UAV logistics support system depends on many different parameters including the type of the UAV system, its operational requirements, and its operational environment. It should be a system with a reduced logistic footprint, enabling a fast deployment and high mobility.
Because of urgent operational requirement for the UAVs, traditional UAV design procedures weren't followed, and first prototypes were deployed for operations without enough consideration for logistics. So, mishap rate and sustainment cost of the initial UAVs was very high because of insufficient logistic consideration during design phase. Immature UAV systems have required many modernizations and upgrades.
UAV logistics support system depends on many different parameters including the type of the UAV system, its operational requirements, and its operational environment. For a small hand-launched UAV system, relatively little logistics support is required, while larger UAV systems mostly need more logistics support.
UAV logistics support should be considered during every phases of the life cycle. Logistics support efforts should be proactive to predict the possible problems before they become serious issues.
The goal of this chapter is to provide the reader with general knowledge on UAV Logistics for Life-Cycle Management with the logistics challenges faced by the UAV pioneers and the possible future UAV logistics trends which improve UAV employment.
KeywordsUnmanned Aerial Vehicle Logistics Support Configuration Management Weapon System Maintenance Plan
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