The different types of US drones are categorized in two ways. The first types of US drones are grouped by function. The second way to group them is by altitude and range. Some military branches’Army, Air Force, and Marines’have classifications for types of US drones as well. Drones are also known as UAV’Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’and UAS’unmanned aircraft system. Different types of US drones provide the military with the ability to do some things without needing an human soldier. Some types of US drones help in training, and training can sometimes be dangerous for soldiers. Other types of US drones help in making more and better drones for the future.
There are six categories for types of US drones.
Target and decoy. ‘These drones give ground and sky artillery a practice target.
Reconnaissance: ‘This type of US drones gathers information from the field of battle.
Combat: ‘The drones in this category can carry out unmanned fighting missions. No actual soldiers have to be part of the fighting when this type of US drones is used.
Logistics: ‘These drones are used to help carry out the movement of cargo.
Research and development: ‘This type of US drones are used to help make improvements on the current drones in use. Things can be changed and tried before sending out new types of US drones into the field.
Civil and commercial: ‘These two areas have specific actions for drones to complete.
The next eight categories of types of US drones are based on the altitude the drone can reach and the range away from the controls it can fly.
Hand-held drones can go up about 600m and fly out about 2km.
Close drones are capable of flying up to 1500m and out about 10km.
The NATO types of US drones are able to achieve an altitude of 3,000m and a range of up to 50km. That means that this type of US drones can fly up to 10,000.
MALE drones can soar at an altitude of 9,000m (30,000 ft) and have a range of over 200km. This type of US drones can fly at the same height of an airplane. MALE stand for ‘medium altitude, long endurance’.
The HALE types of US drones can fly at an altitude over 9,100m (over 30,000 ft). These drones have an indefinite range. HALE stands for ‘high altitude, lone endurance’.
The next types of US drones are HYPERSONIC. Hypersonic means they are supersonic at high speeds. They can achieve from a supersonic range of Mach 1 to 5 to a hypersonic range of Mach 5+. They have an altitude range of 15,200m (50,000 ft). This is also called ‘suborbital altitude’. Their range is over 200km.
ORBITAL types of US drones can achieve Mach 25 or higher. They reach an altitude that is considered a low orbit of the earth.
Each of these types of US drones serves a specific purpose for the military. Some are for training. Some types of US drones are for researching ways to make drones better. Each drone has a specific altitude at which it can fly. There are also ranges for each of the types of US drones for how far they can be from controls.