Signals Intelligence in The Cold War - Drone Technology Grows

Drone Technology Grows

While there were remote-controlled aircraft in World War II, the technology of the time was inadequate for reliable operation, as demonstrated by Operation Aphrodite. This began to change in 1948, when Ryan won the US Air Force competition for the Q-2 jet-propelled aerial target. Known as the Q-2A Firebee, the jet-propelled UAV, launched by a rocket and recovered by parachute, was also bought by the Navy and Army.

Drones did not have an immediate SIGINT role, but they are so important in later conflicts that the first modern development is worthy of note.

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