Skip to comments.US Air Force orders General Atomics Avenger (Iran test?)
Posted on 12/28/2011 6:37:47 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
The US Air Force has ordered the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator C Avenger for deployment to Afghanistan. A single aircraft is being procured, marking what may be the type's first order.
Although termed a test aircraft, the order fulfils an urgent request by secretary of defense Leon Panetta for reconnaissance and strike assets. Several untested aircraft and systems have been purchased or deployed under urgent operational requirements, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout currently operating in Afghanistan.
"This aircraft will be used as a test asset and will provide a significantly increased weapons and sensors payload capacity on an aircraft that will be able to fly to targets much more rapidly than the MQ-9 [Reaper] UAS," the USAF said in an announcement. "Since it has an internal weapons bay and four hardpoints on each wing it will also allow greater flexibility and will accommodate a large selection of next generation sensor and weapons payloads."
The request for the aircraft was made earlier in 2011, before the crash of a stealthy Lockheed RQ-170 Sentinel in Iran.
(Excerpt) Read more at flightglobal.com ...
One "test" Avenger drone is headed to Afghanistan. One interesting point about this is that there is little use for a stealthy drone in Afghanistan. On the other hand, such a drone is quite applicable to surveillance and possibly even strike missions in Iran and Pakistan.
The Avenger is jet powered, stealthy, and has an internal weapons bay. When stealth is less of a criteria, four hard points on the wings may be used also. It is rumored to have advanced ground radar (SAR) and the same sophisticated cameras as the F-35.
Let's hope it's less vulnerable than the RQ-170.
Wonderful; I love the fact that a Democrat controlled US gov’t can rain down death from above with impunity.
They have center pivot irrigation over there? (Must have been photographed in the States...)
I love the fact that a Democrat controlled US govt can rain down death from above with impunity.............................................. Yeah, and get us into major wars when the economy is Bad.
How long before this one crashes in enemy territory?
Not to mention the fact that they’re now using Predator drones domesticaly; and they passed the bill whereby they can 1) declare anyone a terrorist and 2) hold that person without trial.
Look at the bright side - the next Republican administration will inherit a tested system.
As far as drones for use against US citizens (perish the though, I know), the existing Predator/Reaper mix is plenty - there aren't many anti-aircraft missiles out in civilian hands.
Now that the wars in the Middle East are winding down, dozens of those drones are headed home...
though = thought, sorry.
Unless they fixed the GPS issue this one may get captured as well. I read an article where they Iranians, but sent fake GPS signals to the drone. The drone gets confused and then performs an emergency return to homebase. But with the fake GPS data...it gets directed to an Iranian airstrip.
Sad thing is the Iranians did this on a less sophisticated drone earlier in the year. Why they didn’t include a self destruct mechanism is beyond me. If something is so easily hijacked they should put some ordinance on it that can blow up kep components and maybe kill a couple of the hijackers. Or blow it up in mid-air so then it really is less useful.
“Unless they fixed the GPS issue this one may get captured as well. I read an article where they Iranians, but sent fake GPS signals to the drone. The drone gets confused and then performs an emergency return to homebase. But with the fake GPS data...it gets directed to an Iranian airstrip.”
There are a few things about this that I don’t understand. First of all, unless the enemy knows the drone is there, there’s no way to spoof the GPS. The Avenger had better be painted black and should only fly at night. I would also think (though I’m not completely sure) that GPS spoofing must come from above since the GPS antennas “look” upwards at satellites. Therefore it may be quite difficult for the Iranians to spoof very high-flying aircraft.
Finally, there’s a fairly easy fix for GPS spoofing. If the flight control software detects that the position of the aircraft has shifted in a way that is totally out of whack with the flight plan (in other words a shift of many miles in a few seconds), it should revert to inertial and/or compass based navigation and head for friendly airspace, possibly using evasive maneuvers. Once in friendly airspace (if not sooner), the GPS should revert to a working condition. I’m very surprised the RQ-170 didn’t have this capability.
ALL weapons systems have a common vulnerability, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
At what point is our military compelled to act in its own self-defense?
“At what point is our military compelled to act in its own self-defense?”
If in fact illegal actions by the President came to light, such as espionage for a foreign power, that would be clear grounds for impeachment.
What a brouhaha that would be....
Gosh. What would happen if it came to light that he didn’t meet the minimal Constitutional requirements to hold the office?
The Iranians are building a runway to interdict and land this thing...unharmed...even as we blog.
Apparently that hasn't happened, eh? LOL
I'd settle for an investigation into his Social Security number history. I'm amazed SOMEONE in the press hasn't pounced on that Pulitzer material. There are a few conservative journalists out there... I don't know the law in that area, but it seems that illegal use of a Social Security number should be impeachable.
It is not a photograph. It is an "Artist's Concept". Superimpose the aircraft/artillery shell/spacecraft/missile on a stock background.
I have little doubt that if Zero’s polling numbers look bad next July he will launch an attack on Iran. It’s the only thing that will save him.
Without going tinfoil hat over it, it seems like a silly 'oversight' in view of the latest bit about taking Americans into custody and declaring the battle ground to be 'at home, too'.
The Iranians claim they did this.
Frankly, I doubt it. The GPS signal used by the military is encrypted. Unless they broke the encryption, they won't be able to spoof it.
And frankly, I doubt they broke the encryption -- even if they somehow got their hands on a device that uses the encrypted code. It's standard to use one-way encryption -- i.e. you might be able to decode it, but you can't generate an encrypted message that will be accepted.
Point 2: If the Iranians could electronically spoof drone guidance systems, you'd thing they could do it more than once. I'd vote that the craft itself had a mechanical failure, and the Iranians are just doing an Obama, and presuming that, since they shot AT it, Insh'Allah, they shot it down.
The article said that EVERYTHING BUT GPS was encrypted. So they just attacked the weak point.
I know it’s kind of shocking to me. But that thing was completely in tact...no way they got it by accident.
I haven't seen the article that you reference, but I find that to be EXTREMELY unlikely.
The GPS system was originally designed to broadcast two signals: an encrypted high-precision code, and an unencrypted code with less precision. Military devices use the encrypted code. Civilian devices use the unencrypted code.
The unencrypted code was intentionally "dithered" in order to reduce the precision, using a feature called "selective availability" (or "SA"). The level of dithering can be adjusted. But, SA was eventually turned off in 2000, so that even civilian devices get the same level of precision as military devices.
However, SA can be turned back on/up at the drop of a hat, at least until GPS III satellites begin launching in 2014. Reportedly, those satellites do not have SA functionality.
I did a quick bing search and this came up...not the exact same article but it’s the same general content:
Evidently military grade GPS is also very hackable.
It’s a rush order, because the Iranians were pissed because they got the old model.
Iran has close ties with Russia (and their satellites)