Who will get to fly Navy UAVs?

The Navy has decided that unmanned aerial vehicles weighing more than 55 pounds, which includes all of the service’s UAVs except the 40-pound Scan Eagle, will be operated as adjuncts to manned aircraft systems, reports Navy Times.

What’s more, the service expects to assign officers, who are either pilots or naval flight officers, to fly the larger, more complex UAVs, while enlisted sailors will operate the smaller ones that fly at low altitudes and carry out short-range missions, the story said.

Navy officials previously have said they anticipate aviators from manned aircraft communities will leave their primary aircraft after their first or second tours to receive training on an unmanned system before entering operations, the story said.

“This approach will leverage community knowledge and provide better synergies between manned and unmanned capabilities,” Joe Gradisher, spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance, said in a statement.

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