UAV i operasjon "Iraqi Freedom"
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This report presents UAVs used in Operation "Iraqi Freedom" during the spring of 2003. More than 10 different UAVs took part in this operation together with many other airborne sensors. This conflict showed that the most appreciated UAVs are those with either long dwell-time (12 hours or more) or the smallest, which give the ground forces their own air-reconnaissance capacity. UAVs were particularly effective for Time Sensitive Targeting (TST) and a significant enabler of persistent ISR. Information from UAVs was linked directly to the strike planners (Hunter/Killer). This has resulted in a change in the use of UAVs from pre-planned reconnaissance missions, to more dynamic re-tasking during missions. UAVs were also very effective for force protection. When the missions in Iraq shifted to stability operations, like protection of convoys over large areas from hostile individuals, the UAVs did not perform as well. Operation "Iraqi Freedom" was the first split operation with UAVs controlled from outside the theatre of operations. The report is based on open sources.