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by Kris Osborn - Warrior Maven

(Washington D.C.) Navigating through rigorous terrain and taking enemy fire, an armed drone combat vehicle “closing with an enemy” uses high-fidelity, long-range sensors to find hidden or otherwise obscured enemy force concentrations protected by advanced air defenses not easily-detectable by overhead air sensors.

Then, in a matter of seconds or near “real-time,” commanders on Navy destroyers off the coast and Air Force F-22 and B-21 pilots flying miles away receive images, video and intelligence data directly from the ground drone. As a result, the armed, unmanned combat vehicle moves forward to attack while, at the very same time, Navy ships launch Tomahawks to destroy the enemy troop fortifications, B-21s change course to go attack the enemy air defenses and F-22’s fly within range to drop an all-weather, precision-guided “Stormbreaker” bomb on enemy forces from nearly 40-miles away.

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As this unfolds, perhaps long-range B-21 sensors locate approaching enemy aircraft moving into position to counter a U.S. advance .. and instantly pass target information to the arriving F-22 which then uses upgraded AIM-9X air-to-air missiles to attack the enemy fighter jets, clearing the way for more coordinated air-ground-sea strikes.

Taken yet a step further, perhaps an Air Force drone, operating under the control of a nearby F-35 crew, sees additional, previously undetected enemy ground targets from the air, instantly cueing ground commanders 30-km away to fire course-correcting, precision-guided “shaped trajectory” Excalibur 155mm artillery rounds at enemy forces.

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-- Kris Osborn is the Managing Editor of Warrior Maven and The Defense Editor of The National Interest --

Kris Osborn is the new Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics& Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.