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Military Use of Unmanned Aircraft Soars
Associated Press ^ | 1-1-08 | LOLITA C. BALDOR

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 ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; US: California; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; aircraft; airforce; drones; globalhawk; globalhawks; iraq; nationalguard; predators; raven; ravens; reaper; shadows; uav; unmannedaircraft
AP is not happy that the surge is working...

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1 posted on 01/01/2008 2:50:42 PM PST by george76
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To: george76

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.


2 posted on 01/01/2008 2:55:09 PM PST by HiJinx (~ Support our Troops ~ www.americasupportsyou.mil ~)
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To: george76
Why are we still buying manned warplanes when this technology is well-proven and so much less costly? Unmanned aircraft risk no crew or pilots, can do the jobs that current fighters, bombers, jamming and surveillance aircraft do now, at a mere fraction of the cost!
3 posted on 01/01/2008 2:56:45 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Your "dirt" on Fred is about as persuasive as a Nancy Pelosi Veteran's Day Speech)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; B4Ranch

And these drones can hang around over the battlefield for a very long time.


4 posted on 01/01/2008 3:08:25 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

Extremely good development.


5 posted on 01/01/2008 3:25:04 PM PST by samtheman (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why are we still buying manned warplanes when this technology is well-proven and so much less costly?

Because it also works great with manned aircraft pointing out targets and directing ordinance onto the target from manned aircraft after it runs out. Manned on station aircraft also have very little response time for emergency situations. As it stands right now, UAV's are a great force multiplier, not a replacement.
6 posted on 01/01/2008 3:27:07 PM PST by BerryDingle (With friends like the media, who needs enemas ?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"Why are we still buying manned warplanes when this technology is well-proven and so much less costly?"

I believe most of them are controlled via satellite. What do we do when an opponent shoots out satellites down?

7 posted on 01/01/2008 3:27:54 PM PST by antinomian (Show me a robber baron and I'll show you a pocket full of senators.)
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To: george76

Score Another Point for the GOOD GUYS!!! Freedom, and Liberty!

8 posted on 01/01/2008 3:30:22 PM PST by NordP (Such tough choices ahead, I'm now a "middle of the road" voter--somewhere between RUSH & Savage ;-))
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To: george76
"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..."

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.

9 posted on 01/01/2008 3:40:03 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: george76

It was these UAVs that turned the corner on Iraq.

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10 posted on 01/01/2008 3:50:03 PM PST by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: Kevmo; Wonder Warthog; NordP; antinomian; 2ndDivisionVet; HiJinx
The Army has afforded me the opportunity to train with the UAS as a UAV Det. Commander. I was prior enlisted, and I have to admit that this is one of the most rewarding and fascinating jobs I have ever had.

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.

11 posted on 01/01/2008 3:56:26 PM PST by DCBryan1 (Arm Pilots&Teachers. Build the Wall. Export Illegals. Profile Muslims.Kill all child molesters RFN!)
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To: george76

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.


12 posted on 01/01/2008 4:08:05 PM PST by B4Ranch (( "Freedom is not free, but don't worry the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share." ))
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To: B4Ranch; BIGLOOK; SunkenCiv; elhombrelibre; jazusamo

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.


13 posted on 01/01/2008 4:12:10 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why are we still buying manned warplanes when this technology is well-proven and so much less costly?

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.


14 posted on 01/01/2008 4:17:14 PM PST by Polybius
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To: george76; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...

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. ;’)


15 posted on 01/01/2008 4:24:45 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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To: Polybius; 2ndDivisionVet

Or, we could use the ‘all your eggs in one basket’ argument against going to a total Unmanned force....


16 posted on 01/01/2008 4:25:35 PM PST by HiJinx (~ Support our Troops ~ www.americasupportsyou.mil ~)
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To: DCBryan1
The Army has afforded me the opportunity to train with the UAS as a UAV Det. Commander.

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?


17 posted on 01/01/2008 4:26:45 PM PST by Polybius
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To: george76

18 posted on 01/01/2008 4:29:59 PM PST by TheLion
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To: TheLion

Article here:

http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_Raven,,00.html


19 posted on 01/01/2008 4:31:06 PM PST by TheLion
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To: Wonder Warthog

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.


20 posted on 01/01/2008 4:36:10 PM PST by TheLion
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To: TheLion
"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.

21 posted on 01/01/2008 4:39:06 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: TheLion; SunkenCiv

I want one of these !


22 posted on 01/01/2008 4:45:29 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76; Wonder Warthog

They should hire some of us computer game freaks....we would take the enemy out in a heartbeat!


23 posted on 01/01/2008 4:58:23 PM PST by TheLion
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To: george76

are oil pipelines and refineries being
attacked in Iraq?

if yes.
why can’t these drones help?


24 posted on 01/01/2008 5:01:04 PM PST by patch789
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To: Kevmo
It was these UAVs that turned the corner on Iraq.

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.

25 posted on 01/01/2008 5:04:34 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: USNBandit
Yup.

I'm glad to see you're still at it, bandit. We had quite a flame war over the Harrier a couple of years back.



Here's the Beer I owe you.

26 posted on 01/01/2008 5:09:38 PM PST by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: TheLion
yeah. Maybe some day someone will actually make one of those insect drones.

Welcome to someday.


27 posted on 01/01/2008 5:18:33 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Just saying what 'they' won't.)
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To: TheLion

Some of the bigger ones with gas engines can stay up all day ?


28 posted on 01/01/2008 5:19:27 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: UCANSEE2

Wow! Do you have a link to that? I amagine this thing has a camera?


29 posted on 01/01/2008 5:21:58 PM PST by TheLion
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To: george76

“Some of the bigger ones with gas engines can stay up all day ?”

Absolutely not true.

They can stay airborne for a week.


30 posted on 01/01/2008 5:22:03 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Just saying what 'they' won't.)
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To: TheLion

Many links.

here’s one.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/october2007/101007Robobugs.htm


31 posted on 01/01/2008 5:23:38 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Just saying what 'they' won't.)
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To: UCANSEE2

Thanks for the link....truly fascinating.


32 posted on 01/01/2008 5:31:21 PM PST by TheLion
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To: george76
Military Use of Unmanned Aircraft Soars

I've got a joystick... Piloting one of those things would be the the perfect "work from home" job for me.


Check out this flight suit... Oxygen purely optional.

33 posted on 01/01/2008 6:09:40 PM PST by Barnacle (Happy New Year!)
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