Pilotless warplanes are proliferating across the Pacific. This poses a big problem for U.S. defense planners, according to one retired U.S. Air Force general.
In recent months, the United States, China and Taiwan have all revealed new or planned Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The U.S. Navy is considering replacing some or all of its future F-35 manned fighters with armed drones, potentially based on the experimental X-47B. Taiwan has announced ambitious plans for at least two types of killer drones to supplement its aging manned fighter fleet. China, meanwhile, is working on a wide range of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV); the Japanese navy spotted a small, apparently ship-launched drone over a Chinese fleet this summer.