Mitchell Institute Releases New Study: Consolidating the Revolution

ARLINGTON, Va (June 28, 2017) — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release its latest research study, Consolidating the Revolution: Optimizing the Potential of Remotely Piloted Aircraft by Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.), dean of the Mitchell Institute.

This in-depth study explains how the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) revolution, fueled by wartime needs and budgets, led to suboptimal development in the years after September 11, 2001; examines key problem sets facing RPA mission categories; and prescribes a set of actions that will result in a more coherent path forward for optimizing these RPA for joint force operations.

The study recommends that Congress and the Department of Defense consider actions to place the RPA enterprise on a path toward realizing coordinated, expanded, and enhanced effects across the range of military operations. Deptula’s recommendations include, prioritizing technologies that are able to reduce manpower requirements, boost efficiency, and seize new opportunities. He also explores how the acquisition process should be streamlined to facilitate buying modern RPA technology in an agile, responsive fashion, and how DOD should optimize the RPA organizational construct to net greater capability by aligning the use of systems in a more efficient and effective fashion.

The Mitchell Institute’s research studies serve as an avenue for in-depth, insightful, and effective ideas and solutions to strengthen and enhance aerospace power’s role in securing America’s interests.

For more information on this research study, and others, contact Mitchell’s Director of Publications Marc V. Schanz at or visit our website, at

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