Drones critical to US info-warfare playbook, Air Force’s Kennedy says

Blog Summary: (AI Summaries by Summarizes)
  • The post discusses the importance of executive summaries for busy individuals.
  • It emphasizes the need for concise and clear communication in executive summaries.
  • Executive summaries should provide a brief overview of the main points and key findings.


C4ISRNet Logo

AIUnmannedBattlefield TechSpaceElectronic WarfareCyberIndustryThought Leadership


Drones critical to US info-warfare playbook, Air Force’s Kennedy says

By Colin Demarest

 Friday, Dec 16

A Ukrainian soldier launches a drone near Kharkiv on July 23, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A Ukrainian soldier launches a drone near Kharkiv on July 23, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO — The three-star general spearheading the U.S. Air Force’s information warfare efforts foresees a sustained future for drones in the military, as nations monitor, analyze and attempt to outfox each other from greater and greater distances.

Asked Dec. 15 if he thinks uncrewed aerial systems will “become important” to his organization, Lt. Gen. Kevin Kennedy, the commander of the 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), told the Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference in San Antonio: “Yes.”

“I’m in competition most of the time, and I’m trying to produce a nominal baseline of the environment — what is normal behavior, so I can understand what’s abnormal behavior?” Kennedy said onstage in Texas. “I think drones have a very, very significant play in that.”

A visualization of the Pentagon's Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, which aims to better connect sensors and shooters across vast distances.
Raytheon tests information-sharing technology with JADC2 in mind
The demonstration included two locations as well as a range of hardware, waveforms and data formats.

By Zamone Perez and Colin Demarest

Military adoption and deployment of drones has ballooned in recent years, with the Russia-Ukraine war pushing their use into the popular spotlight. Footage captured by drones can not only inform military planning and strikes, but can also drive narratives and shape public perceptions, a facet of information warfare.

The U.S. has so far pledged thousands of unmanned systems to the frontlines in Eastern Europe, where they are used to dive bomb and reconnoiter, among other tasks. Washington has also promised counter-UAS capabilities, including the L3Harris Technologies-made Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment, or VAMPIRE, to address airborne Russian threats.

The VAMPIRE uses laser-guided munitions to hit ground or air targets, including drones. At the Association of the U.S. Army trade show in October, L3Harris displayed it with the Land-LGR4 rocket launcher from Arnold Defense and Electronics and the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System laser-guidance package made by BAE Systems, Defense News reported.

Kennedy on Thursday said drones offer a flexible and relatively expendable means of intelligence gathering and long-range understanding. Uncrewed assets can be floated into more-dangerous environments, where troops would otherwise dare not tread.

“The other thing too: An unmanned system, I can put into a place that I’m not going to put a manned system, with a different risk profile,” said Kennedy, who previously served as the director of operations for U.S. Cyber Command. “Also, it decreases the possibility of miscalculation.”

The L3Harris Technologies Vampire system, a light vehicle-borne missile launcher, is seen on the show floor Oct. 11 at the Association of the U.S. Army annual convention.
The L3Harris Technologies VAMPIRE system is seen on the show floor Oct. 11, 2022, at the Association of the U.S. Army annual convention. (Colin Demarest/C4ISRNET) 

Drones can be outfitted with a range of equipment, including imaging or sensing for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance purposes.

Outside the Air Force, the Army is looking to air- and ground-launched platforms, such as drones, to more effectively wage electronic warfare amid a Pentagon push to modernize arsenals. By outfitting so-called ALEs and GLEs with kit capable of jamming, spoofing or spying, the platforms could help deter and neutralize technologically advanced adversaries, such as China and Russia.

“Policymakers, military commanders, will be looking for what is the adversary doing, what is their intended outcome, and how are we postured to create an advantage in this crisis, mitigate this crisis, or, in some cases, just manage this crisis, so it doesn’t have horizontal or vertical escalation,” Kennedy said. “And in that case, informational warfare outcomes, whether it’s ISR, cyber, EW, or IO, come into play as well.”

About Colin Demarest

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

More In UAS
Lithuania buys Switchblade 600 drones
Lithuania has become the first European NATO member to order the kamikaze drone.
How the ‘Rad Lab’ helped avert nuclear war
Technology built in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory changed history.
Congress passes funding bill with major cash infusion for Pentagon
Congress passed $817 billion in Pentagon funding on top of more Ukraine aid. The bill includes directives on littoral combat ships and aircraft transfers.
With three prototypes in hand, Marines ready for recon vehicle testing
The Marine Corps will test three options for its Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle in early 2023, now that all competitors have turned in their vehicles.
Latvia’s Atlas Dynamics to open drone production plant in Ukraine
Latvian drone company Atlas Dynamics plans to open in early 2023 a research and development factory in Ukraine and later on a production plant.
Featured Video

0 seconds of 5 minutes, 43 secondsVolume 0%

Your base is getting smarter
B-21 unveiled, and what’s replacing Black Hawks? | Defense News Weekly Full Episode 12.10.22
The state of F-35 production and new Marine grooming regs | Defense News Weekly Full Episode 12.3.22
All-domain command and control – where does it stand?
Trending Now
  1. US Air Force sees 5G as one of many connectors on future battlefields
  2. Cyber to be featured for first time at US military exercise in Africa
  3. With three prototypes in hand, Marines ready for recon vehicle testing
  4. Lithuania buys Switchblade 600 drones
  5. Information superiority and the race for global AI leadership

Terms of Use

Get Us

Contact Us

About Us

C4ISRNet Logo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.