An unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), also known as a combat drone or drone, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is usually armed. These aircraft have no onboard human pilot. Operational drones are predominantly under real-time human control, with "The human’s role in UCAV system [varying] according to levels of autonomy of UCAV and data communication requirement[s]." [1]

Equipment necessary for a human pilot (such as the cockpit, armor, ejection seat, flight controls, and environmental controls for pressure & oxygen) are not needed in a UAV, this resulting in a lower weight and size than a manned aircraft which can allow for greater payloads, range and maneuverability.


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