Skip to comments.Drone Will Call Aircraft Carriers Home
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 ...
This one should be able to penetrate heavily defended airspace effectively.
Maybe, but its still a horrible headline.
The thought of an American carrier launching a thousand or so of these bad boys at an enemy warms my black heart.
When ever the Bears are near a carrier is a great time for drone training.
Start with the cooks and cheap practice drones.
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.
Someday, the machines will kick our arse.
I hear its pretty stealthy too
Very Cool stuff here!
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.
I am going to miss the thumbs up and the salute before launch!
How long till one goes looking for Sarah Conner.
Sort of like saying thanks to the automatic recording telling you to hold. I have done it. LOL
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.
I was wondering, do the pilots deploy with the ship or stay home at a base and drive remotely.
I can’t resist: “Drone ... home.” Now let me go find the mother ship.
I have a great idea...how about another fighter drone without a pilot.(ahem)
The Navy is pretty good at maintaining traditions. Somebody somewhere will figure out how to make the drone "salute" prior to launch.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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).
Not a B-47X
Nobody, they knew to be home before the street lights came on.
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.
Why, you cannot hit what you cannot see.
Maybe the engineers can add a mechanical thumb inside (for old time’s sake).
Don’t know about the salute......
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.
Or a drone launched from a submarine drone carrier....
“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!”
Where would you suggest we store the 1,000 or so aircraft until needed on an Air Craft Carrier>>>>????
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.
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.
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That’s the Wang Wei to international relations. ;)
I don’t think the Predator has the range or re-fueling capabability for a trip that long.
Believe it was a Global Hawk.
Longest declassified flight, 400 Nautical miles, spent 14 Hours over target and then returned to base.
This puts a whole new meaning on “the right stuff” and “top gun.”
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?)
“Why, you cannot hit what you cannot see.”
I didn’t understand this, please clarify.
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