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Drone Will Call Aircraft Carriers Home
The Wall Street Journal ^ | FEBRUARY 8, 2011 | NATHAN HODGE

Posted on 02/08/2011 11:03:16 AM PST by PreciousLiberty

The U.S. Navy said it made a breakthrough in drone technology with the first flight of the X-47B, a bat-winged unmanned jet designed to take off and land from an aircraft carrier, one of the most complex and difficult feats in aviation.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bomber; drone; navair; navy; stealth; x47b
More cost effective and flexible than cruise missiles - now for a fighter drone. ;-)

This one should be able to penetrate heavily defended airspace effectively.


1 posted on 02/08/2011 11:03:23 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
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To: PreciousLiberty

Maybe, but its still a horrible headline.


2 posted on 02/08/2011 11:04:30 AM PST by skeeter
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To: skeeter

The thought of an American carrier launching a thousand or so of these bad boys at an enemy warms my black heart.


3 posted on 02/08/2011 11:06:05 AM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: PreciousLiberty


4 posted on 02/08/2011 11:08:09 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: PreciousLiberty

When ever the Bears are near a carrier is a great time for drone training.

Start with the cooks and cheap practice drones.


5 posted on 02/08/2011 11:08:53 AM PST by NoLibZone (Obama must be impeached and tried for treason.)
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To: Lurker

The scary part is these drones are now being designed to be autonomous. They pair up a hunter and killer team. One designates a target and the other kills it without a ground based human pilot.


6 posted on 02/08/2011 11:09:32 AM PST by WaterBoard ("PBR Street Gang this is Almighty, over..")
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To: PreciousLiberty

Someday, the machines will kick our arse.


7 posted on 02/08/2011 11:09:51 AM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: PreciousLiberty

I hear its pretty stealthy too


8 posted on 02/08/2011 11:11:06 AM PST by GeronL (http://www.stink-eye.net/forum/index.php for FR backup site!)
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To: PreciousLiberty

Very Cool stuff here!


9 posted on 02/08/2011 11:13:51 AM PST by Cheetahcat ( November 4 2008 ,A date which will live in Infamy.)
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To: PreciousLiberty
A drone could pull many more G's than any piloted aircraft..
How could a Pilot keep up with it.?
10 posted on 02/08/2011 11:14:43 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: PreciousLiberty

Landing on an aircraft carrier is pretty cool stuff. Land based runways don’t gallop and tilt a whole lot.

But the idea of a cloud of black death leaving the flight deck and heading towards our foe - makes this engineer feel pretty good.

With semi-autonomous flight capabilities, we can have a squadron of 10 geeks, pilot 100 of these beauties; only taking over to fly the last critical portion of a mission.

Log into a drone, ruin the bad-guy’s day, tell the drone to come home, log out. Repeat on next drone.


11 posted on 02/08/2011 11:15:35 AM PST by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Hodar

I am going to miss the thumbs up and the salute before launch!


12 posted on 02/08/2011 11:18:02 AM PST by PGR88
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To: DonaldC

How long till one goes looking for Sarah Conner.


13 posted on 02/08/2011 11:25:14 AM PST by gilor (Pull the wool over your own eyes!)
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To: PGR88

Sort of like saying thanks to the automatic recording telling you to hold. I have done it. LOL


14 posted on 02/08/2011 11:26:05 AM PST by 70th Division (I love my country but fear my government!)
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To: PreciousLiberty

What bothers me about this, is that anything that can be hacked, will be hacked.

We all know the propensity of nations like China to steal proprietary secrets too.

I love the technology. This is a fantastic aircraft. The tech that allows it to land alone, is amazing. Will it remain secure in our hour of need? Better men than I will have to make sure it does.

There are times when I worry about our reliance on so much tech. Some battlefield EMTs and we’re essentially pantsless.


15 posted on 02/08/2011 11:27:40 AM PST by DoughtyOne (All hail the Kenyan Prince Obama, Lord of the Skid-mark, constantly soiling himself and our nation.)
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To: PreciousLiberty

I was wondering, do the pilots deploy with the ship or stay home at a base and drive remotely.


16 posted on 02/08/2011 11:32:08 AM PST by artificial intelligence (Your data will be processed by me for future input. Thank you.)
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To: PreciousLiberty

I can’t resist: “Drone ... home.” Now let me go find the mother ship.


17 posted on 02/08/2011 11:33:21 AM PST by Truth29
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To: magslinger

ping


18 posted on 02/08/2011 11:33:52 AM PST by Vroomfondel
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To: PreciousLiberty
Who used to call them home when it was time for them to come home?
19 posted on 02/08/2011 11:35:45 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: hosepipe
"A drone could pull many more G's than any piloted aircraft.. How could a Pilot keep up with it.?"

I have a great idea...how about another fighter drone without a pilot.(ahem)

20 posted on 02/08/2011 11:37:02 AM PST by blam
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To: PGR88
I am going to miss the thumbs up and the salute before launch!

The Navy is pretty good at maintaining traditions. Somebody somewhere will figure out how to make the drone "salute" prior to launch.

21 posted on 02/08/2011 11:52:58 AM PST by Tallguy (Received a fine from the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet hit.)
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To: blam

“I have a great idea...how about another fighter drone without a pilot.(ahem)”

I mentioned that in the post, but I should have been clearer that this is a bomber, not a fighter.

It looks like the first operational American fighter drone will be the F-35 pilotless variant.


22 posted on 02/08/2011 11:55:14 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
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To: DoughtyOne

“What bothers me about this, is that anything that can be hacked, will be hacked.”

One of the modes (and the most frequently used for strike operations I believe) will be fully autonomous. In other words, it will be preprogrammed with the strike package, and fly the entire mission with no comms.

We already have this capability, it’s just that the (expensive) cruise missiles never come back for reuse.


23 posted on 02/08/2011 11:58:21 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
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To: DoughtyOne
What bothers me about this, is that anything that can be hacked, will be hacked.

The "Battlestar Galactica" scenario: a hack inserted into the software so that an enemy can shut us down at a critical moment with a signal.

The "SkyNet" variation: enemy takes over our offensive systems and uses them against us.

24 posted on 02/08/2011 12:02:08 PM PST by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: WaterBoard

“They pair up a hunter and killer team. One designates a target and the other kills it without a ground based human pilot.”

That is possible, but by no means necessary. One of these can easily fly a mission and drop JDAMS without another aircraft.

There’s also no reason one couldn’t designate and bomb solo if laser guided munitions were called for. Piloted aircraft do it routinely. It would require target acquisition software (and the sensor/designator hardware).


25 posted on 02/08/2011 12:04:22 PM PST by PreciousLiberty
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To: zot

Not a B-47X


26 posted on 02/08/2011 12:05:33 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"Who used to call them home when it was time for them to come home?"

Nobody, they knew to be home before the street lights came on.

27 posted on 02/08/2011 12:08:44 PM PST by Jaxter ("Pro Aris et Focis")
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To: PreciousLiberty
The X-47C is even cooler:


Nothing can go wrong.
28 posted on 02/08/2011 12:11:13 PM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: PreciousLiberty

Imagine... Fewer pilot salaries. Fewer guys on the whole CAG career track. No pilot but, same mission capability. It’s
GREAT “buck for performance” tech and I’m glad that the Navy is pursuing it.

Yes, I know that it is not exactly good for the whole “tradition” of Naval Aviation. But we have to accept that the cockpit will become automated just as robots have taken over industrial jobs like welding and riveting.


29 posted on 02/08/2011 12:20:38 PM PST by NeverForgetBataan (To the German Commander: ..........................NUTS !)
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To: PreciousLiberty

Why, you cannot hit what you cannot see.


30 posted on 02/08/2011 12:28:44 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: PGR88

Maybe the engineers can add a mechanical thumb inside (for old time’s sake).

Don’t know about the salute......


31 posted on 02/08/2011 12:33:07 PM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: NeverForgetBataan

The word is has become automated, we no longer need fighter aircraft. This is the last generation. If you want to fly, cargo and personal aircraft is what is left.


32 posted on 02/08/2011 12:37:58 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: blam
[ I have a great idea...how about another fighter drone without a pilot.(ahem) ]

Or a drone launched from a submarine drone carrier....

33 posted on 02/08/2011 12:39:29 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Lurker

“The thought of an American carrier launching a thousand or so of these bad boys at an enemy warms my black heart.”

Agreed. I also wish we could get these things down to Wal-Mart prices so we could Kamikaze them if we wanted.

I’d be fun if we got a reputation for using about 1,000 of these things to protect/patrol carrier groups and if an enemy knew that we wouldn’t bother trying to shoot you down, but instead we’d just crash about 5 into your jet or your ancient and stupid boat.

We could pilot the whole squadron via a room full of unpaid volunteers setup somewhere in Arizona if we promised them free soda and chips. We would only need about 3 guys in the room who actually know how to land one and they could simply take over when the time comes to bring it down.

“Protect America. Free Snacks!”


34 posted on 02/08/2011 12:41:20 PM PST by Noamie
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To: Lurker

Where would you suggest we store the 1,000 or so aircraft until needed on an Air Craft Carrier>>>>????


35 posted on 02/08/2011 12:46:12 PM PST by BooBoo1000
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To: PreciousLiberty

Too bad the Navy says it isn’t properly marinized, can’t carry any sensors or payload and doesn’t have sufficient performance to be of use.


36 posted on 02/08/2011 12:50:51 PM PST by DnPRK
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To: BooBoo1000
Where would you suggest we store the 1,000 or so aircraft until needed on an Air Craft Carrier>>>>????

Stack 'em in vertical racks with the landing gear retracted. Give them RATO packs and launch the suckers like missiles. Make 'em half the size they are now and put a warhead and guns on them.

Strafe targets till you run out of fuel and then kamikaze the suckers right on in.

37 posted on 02/08/2011 12:55:45 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Vroomfondel; SC Swamp Fox; Fred Hayek; NY Attitude; P3_Acoustic; investigateworld; lowbuck; ...
SONOBUOY PING!

Click on pic for past Navair pings.

Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist.
The only requirement for inclusion in the Navair Pinglist is an interest in Naval Aviation.
This is a medium to low volume pinglist.

38 posted on 02/08/2011 12:58:04 PM PST by magslinger (Samuel Colt, feminist. Making women equal to men for over 150 years.)
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To: NoLibZone

That’s the Wang Wei to international relations. ;)


39 posted on 02/08/2011 1:11:36 PM PST by magslinger (Samuel Colt, feminist. Making women equal to men for over 150 years.)
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To: PreciousLiberty
One of the first test flights of the predator was it flew its self to Australia and back.
40 posted on 02/08/2011 1:41:37 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: org.whodat

I don’t think the Predator has the range or re-fueling capabability for a trip that long.

Believe it was a Global Hawk.


41 posted on 02/08/2011 2:22:14 PM PST by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar (The "p" in Democrat stands for patriotism.)
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To: 2nd Bn, 11th Mar

Longest declassified flight, 400 Nautical miles, spent 14 Hours over target and then returned to base.


42 posted on 02/08/2011 2:36:59 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: GreyFriar

This puts a whole new meaning on “the right stuff” and “top gun.”


43 posted on 02/08/2011 3:01:22 PM PST by zot
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To: hosepipe
"Or a drone launched from a submarine drone carrier.... "

Or, released from a prepositioned stationary underwater platform that is undetectable, and... requires no people or maintenance. (I'd bet we have those now with cruise missiles, eh?)

44 posted on 02/08/2011 3:17:02 PM PST by blam
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To: org.whodat

“Why, you cannot hit what you cannot see.”

I didn’t understand this, please clarify.


45 posted on 02/09/2011 5:30:08 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
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