Organization and Innovation: Integrating Carrier-Launched UAVs

US Naval War College Review – In spite of significant advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and UAS technology, the Navy’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) remain predominantly intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, and none are carrier based. Effective employment of UAVs by the Navy’s carrier air wings requires more than the acquisition of new technology, and without focused efforts to accelerate integration it likely will take several more decades before carrier-launched UAVs (CL-UAVs) are optimized across the entire spectrum of carrier aviation missions. Throughout history, organizational changes have been instrumental to enhancing the effectiveness of military technology. The integration of CL-UAVs can be accelerated by making organizational changes that facilitate the development of an internal constituency within the carrier aviation community and foster experimentation and bottom-up innovation.