Autonomous Air Defense Industry

Autonomous Electric Vehicle makers have enjoyed US markets overwhelming enthusiasm in 2020 (Yergin, 2021, April 23). However, the other sector that has heavy investment on autonomous operation and backed by the US congress is the US Air Defense industry, which is largely overlooked. 

The US congress passed the $740 billion defense authorization bill in 2021 January, which expanded automation and promotion of autonomous operations across all the services area: in the air, on the ground, and under water (Pasztor, 2021, February 13).

For example, the US Marines had Kaman Corp. to devise ways to use autonomous choppers to deliver supplies to remote outposts, which was needed in Afghanistan combat due to the height.

With the US Defense Department’s primary research arm, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Sikorsky unit has worked on autonomous helicopters for various missions (Pasztor, 2021, February 13)

The US Navy admirals plans to have 120 vessels that operate without crews, as US Congress gives a easy pass. In addition, US Navy wants to run autonomous undersea vehicles to carry cargo, divers and to run intelligence to gather mines. They have worked with Boeing and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (Pasztor, 2021, February 13).

The US Air Force has autonomous jet fighter paired with a traditional ones, which shows the advantages in mock dogfights. It also has autonomous areal tankers operating soon above the Earth operating without crews. Lastly, the US Army is updating Bradley fighting vehicle that transport ground troops to operate without human inside. It was 1980s version (Pasztor, 2021, February 13).

The US defense has made great effort on automation indeed and seems to stay that way for a long time even Biden administration, considering all noises from Ukraine border and the Southwest sea where Russia and China has flexed their military muscles.

Cited as:

Rachel Kim (2021, April 23). Autonomous Air Defense Industry, The Blue Ocean, retrieved from:


Pasztor, A. (2021, February 13). Forget Self-Driving Cars—the Pentagon Wants Autonomous Ships, Choppers and Jets, Wall Street Journal, retrieved from:

Yergin, D. (2021, April 23). How Electric, Self-Driving Cars and Ride-Hailing Will Transform the Car Industry, Wall Street Journal, retrieved from: