UAVs include both autonomous (capable of operating without human input) drones and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs). A UAV is capable of controlled, sustained level flight and is powered by a jet, reciprocating, or electric engine. In the 21st century, technology reached a point of sophistication that the UAV is now being given a greatly expanded role in many areas of aviation.
A UAV differs from a cruise missile in that a UAV is intended to be recovered after its mission, while a cruise missile impacts its target. A military UAV may carry and fire munitions on board, while a cruise missile is a munition.