Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John J. Elshaw, PhD


The research focuses on cyber-attacks on cyber-physical systems of the unmanned vehicles that are characteristically used in the military, particularly the Air Force. Unmanned systems are exposed to various risks as the capacity of cyber attackers continue to expand, raising the need for speedy and immediate responses. The advances in military technologies form the basis of the research that explores the challenges faced in the timely detection and response to cyber-attacks. The purpose of the research is to study the connections between operator suspicion and the detection and response to cyber-attacks alongside the identification of theory of suspicion as the theoretical framework. The paper further presents the experiment used and the interview questions that offer the basis for the recommendations and importance of the research while answering the research questions. The conclusion from the literature review, interview, and experiment indicates the need for training among operators in the Air Force to reinforce their capacity in the detection and response to cyber-attacks and other adverse events that could compromise the execution of the mission established for unmanned systems. The research offers recommendations that can be implemented by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) in enhancing the security measures of unmanned systems.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number