Skip to comments.Military Use of Unmanned Aircraft Soars
Posted on 01/01/2008 2:50:40 PM PST by george76
The military's reliance on unmanned aircraft that can watch, hunt and sometimes kill insurgents has soared to more than 500,000 hours in the air, largely in Iraq...
the Air Force more than doubled its monthly use of drones between January and October...
The dramatic increase in the development and use of drones across the armed services reflects what will be an even more aggressive effort over the next 25 years...
For some Air Force pilots, that means climbing out of the cockpit and heading to places such as Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where they can remotely fly the Predators, one of the larger and more sophisticated unmanned aircraft.
About 120 Air Force pilots were recently transferred to staff the drones to keep pace with demands...
Some National Guard members were also called up to staff the flights. And more will be doing that in the coming months, as the Air Force adds bases where pilots can remotely fly the aircraft. Locations include North Dakota, Texas, Arizona and California...
Use of the high-tech surveillance and reconnaissance Global Hawk has also jumped, as the Air Force moved from two to three systems on the battlefield.
The bulk of the unmanned flight hours belong to the Army's workhorse drone, the Raven, which weighs just four pounds and is used by smaller units, such as companies and battalions, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Ravens, which soldiers fling into the air and use for surveillance, will rack up about 300,000 hours this year - double the time they were used last year, The Army has a total of 361 unmanned aircraft in Iraq alone - including Shadows, Hunters and Ravens. And in the first 10 months of 2007, they flew more than 300,000 hours.
(Excerpt) Read more at story.news.ask.com ...
Got that right.
And wait ‘til they make the connection between military and Border Patrol use of the UAVs. Not much difference - the BP Predators aren’t armed.
And these drones can hang around over the battlefield for a very long time.
Extremely good development.
I believe most of them are controlled via satellite. What do we do when an opponent shoots out satellites down?
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As sexy as things like the "Global Hawk" are, I think this kind of field intelligence will be FAR more valuable, and will save many lives. Add to those the uses of ground robots (toy tanks with a camera) will be of immense benefit to the ground-pounders.
It was these UAVs that turned the corner on Iraq.
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If I could go back 20 years and do it all over, I would definitely be a 96U and then become a 350U. Unfortunately, I am up for a promotion and will probably start doing staff work as a 35D/35E.
Check out my handle for my homepage with photos of different UAVs.
I think this is a great way to keep pilots flying that have been grounded for one reason or another.
I have no idea of the true capabilities of a drone but I like the idea that they could be set up to have cameras searching the sky in every direction simultaneously. If we have troops on the ground, it could track their movement to the tightest detail thereby preventing another fighter or bomber from doing harm.
I like the idea that troops on the ground would have their own little air force that could be available quickly for recon and maybe lots more.
Well, as it stands right now, it is very hard to shoot down one of these
with one of these
In the future, once unmanned air superiority aircraft are developed, you must consider the consequences of having your entire air superiority capability depend on getting a guidance signal from Nintendo Air Force Base in Nevada to your thousands of unmanned aircraft in an electronic and space warfare environment.
Thanks george76. Of course, the idea for these mini-craft came from tiny little aliens who regularly visit our world wearing human-looking robotic suits. ;’)
Or, we could use the ‘all your eggs in one basket’ argument against going to a total Unmanned force....
See Post 14.
In your opinion, how vulnerable would a U.S. Air Force depending solely on air superiority UAV's be against an opponent such as Russia with serious EW and anti-satellite warfare capabilities?
Did you ever play Doom2? They could build the robotic spiders with cameras and firepower.
I also like the idea of tiny devices that can scope out an area without being seen.
How about some drones the size of an insect. I’ll bet these come eventually.
I'd say that the CIA, NSA types probably already have the capability. The problem is power. Battery technology just isn't there yet---the rest of it is already feasible.
I want one of these !
They should hire some of us computer game freaks....we would take the enemy out in a heartbeat!
are oil pipelines and refineries being
attacked in Iraq?
why can’t these drones help?
UAVs were a part of a bigger shift in the way we conduct war. I don't know what the term is this year, but infocentric warfare was a concept I used to laugh at. I envisioned some flag officer sitting in a room of big screen monitors micromanaging the battlespace. It may have started that way, but that same concept now gives troops on the ground and aircrew in the air a better view of the battlespace.
Now I realize that infocentric warfare is the key to our success. Never in history of mankind has any nation fielded a more lethal military force. Sharing info up, and more importantly, down the chain allows us to destroy more targets, with less weapons, in less time with less risk.
Welcome to someday.
Some of the bigger ones with gas engines can stay up all day ?
Wow! Do you have a link to that? I amagine this thing has a camera?
“Some of the bigger ones with gas engines can stay up all day ?”
Absolutely not true.
They can stay airborne for a week.
Thanks for the link....truly fascinating.
I've got a joystick... Piloting one of those things would be the the perfect "work from home" job for me.
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