The Air Force is now active over the South China Sea with spy drones deployed to keep watch on the Indo-Pacific and act as a deterrent if needed against the Chinese fleet.
Among the assets flown by the air force are B-1B bombers and Global Hawk spy drones, that is part of the US strategy in dealing with the Chinese despite the tensions.
Reports confirm that B-1Bs are on sorties from Guam, and supporting the Indo-Pacific Command with missions over the South China Sea to bolster US presence in the region. One of their missions is flying the Global Hawk. As part of the bomber mission, they are placed in rotation to remind China that the US is everywhere, according to Fox News.
All the Global Hawk missions are from the Air Base in Yokata, Japan. Japan is one of America's allies in the region. As a reaction, the reports that China has been in exercises with the Shandong and Liaoning in the SCS, the Global Hawks will have bigger importance in monitoring the PLAN. Also, Taiwan is not happy with these Chinese exercises that might lead to a Chinese invasion, confirmed by National Interest.
Global Hawk Misssions
These drones are unmanned and use for monitoring with these devices that have advance algorithms that allow them to fly autonomously. What makes the system versatile is the robotic craft that can manage itself and follow mission objectives to carry out the mission on their own.
One advantage of the drones is that US commanders can have longer missions anywhere it is needed, and the problems of distance in the Pacific.
How does the Global Hawk function?
According to Scott Winship, the system works with the Distributed Autonomy Responsive Control (DARC), that links up with other systems to connect like a spider's web of air and ground nodes that gives it the ability to decide what to do without a human guiding it. According to Northrop that made the system, it will program what is needed to be performed, and the drone will comply, reported in the Warrior, mentioned Intellasia.
The system will manage itself by linking to cells and follow its programming automatically, and it carries out the mission parameters in real-time, the AI controls all function autonomously. Drones are efficient and cost-effective with minimal loss of human life.
Achieving surveillance on the South China Sea
Instead of using spy planes like before, they were usually manned missions but with a drone and newer technology. The US Air Force and other military service efforts getting intel is more cost-effective.
The drone can sift through large amounts of data that it collects called ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) that will be analyzed by operators to make a decision, Global Hawk can process vast data for all its missions.
What the aerial surveillance gives is a way to monitor tracts of the Indo-pacific with drones that are not dependent but autonomous. This can help them win the conflict and get information from the enemy that is anywhere in the Indo-Pacific.
Winship stressed that the data gathered is immense. Unwanted data is purged from the system while keeping what is needed immediately. These systems talk in clusters to decide better than any human can, confirmed by Express.These spy drones dispatched by the US Air Force is a layer of watchfulness that keeps an eye in the SCS.