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US Air Force orders General Atomics Avenger (Iran test?)
flightglobal.com ^ | 12/12/2011 | ZACH ROSENBERG

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 ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: drone; iran; stealth; surveillance
Summary:

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.

1 posted on 12/28/2011 6:37:52 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
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To: PreciousLiberty

Wonderful; I love the fact that a Democrat controlled US gov’t can rain down death from above with impunity.


2 posted on 12/28/2011 6:40:32 AM PST by Rich21IE
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To: PreciousLiberty

They have center pivot irrigation over there? (Must have been photographed in the States...)


3 posted on 12/28/2011 6:44:31 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Rich21IE

I love the fact that a Democrat controlled US gov’t can rain down death from above with impunity.............................................. Yeah, and get us into major wars when the economy is Bad.


4 posted on 12/28/2011 6:45:34 AM PST by Bringbackthedraft ( WHO YOU ELECT IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS WHO THEY APPOINT!)
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To: PreciousLiberty

How long before this one crashes in enemy territory?


5 posted on 12/28/2011 6:48:24 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Bringbackthedraft

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.


6 posted on 12/28/2011 6:49:58 AM PST by Rich21IE
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To: Rich21IE
"Wonderful; I love the fact that a Democrat controlled US gov’t can rain down death from above with impunity."

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...

7 posted on 12/28/2011 6:51:01 AM PST by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!)
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To: PreciousLiberty

though = thought, sorry.


8 posted on 12/28/2011 6:54:14 AM PST by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Yep. The Mullahs must have back channeled Obambi and insisted on getting their hands on our Top of the Line Drone.
9 posted on 12/28/2011 7:01:30 AM PST by DAC21
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To: PreciousLiberty

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.


10 posted on 12/28/2011 7:10:07 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: for-q-clinton

“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.


11 posted on 12/28/2011 7:24:46 AM PST by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!)
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To: PreciousLiberty
Let's hope it's less vulnerable than the RQ-170.

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?

12 posted on 12/28/2011 7:26:01 AM PST by null and void (Day 1071 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: null and void

“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....


13 posted on 12/28/2011 7:31:28 AM PST by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!)
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To: PreciousLiberty

Gosh. What would happen if it came to light that he didn’t meet the minimal Constitutional requirements to hold the office?


14 posted on 12/28/2011 7:39:59 AM PST by null and void (Day 1071 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

The Iranians are building a runway to interdict and land this thing...unharmed...even as we blog.


15 posted on 12/28/2011 7:43:58 AM PST by moovova (Report my sarcastic, fear-mongering, hate-filled lies to www.AttackWatch.com by clicking HERE.)
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To: null and void
"Gosh. What would happen if it came to light that he didn’t meet the minimal Constitutional requirements to hold the office?"

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.

16 posted on 12/28/2011 7:46:45 AM PST by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!)
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To: Smokin' Joe
They have center pivot irrigation over there? (Must have been photographed in the States...)

It is not a photograph. It is an "Artist's Concept". Superimpose the aircraft/artillery shell/spacecraft/missile on a stock background.

17 posted on 12/28/2011 8:18:28 AM PST by CurlyDave
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To: Bringbackthedraft

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.


18 posted on 12/28/2011 8:38:52 AM PST by BigBobber
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To: CurlyDave
Hmmmm. Why show it on a landscape common to the US (that particular style of irrigation is used in the Midwest and Northern Plains, as well as other parts of the country), rather than something that looked more like the third world we'd be more likely to use these drones in....

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'.

19 posted on 12/28/2011 8:41:04 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: for-q-clinton
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.

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.

20 posted on 12/28/2011 9:01:07 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: PreciousLiberty
Couple of things:
One is that when the F-117 first came out of the Closet at Groom Lake, it sported a mottled pastel paint scheme, pinks and blues, since that actually works better at night in the air. However, the silk scarf zoomies didn't like the colors, since true fighter jocks don't fly pink aircraft. Hence the black paint job. (Look up Lord Mountbatten's pink ships during WW2.)

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.

21 posted on 12/28/2011 9:08:49 AM PST by jonascord (Political euthanasia would benefit the species...)
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To: justlurking

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.


22 posted on 12/28/2011 9:11:32 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: for-q-clinton
The article said that EVERYTHING BUT GPS was encrypted. So they just attacked the weak point.

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.

23 posted on 12/28/2011 9:34:21 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: justlurking

I did a quick bing search and this came up...not the exact same article but it’s the same general content:
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Iranians-Capture-US-Drone-with-GPS-Attack-241075.shtml

Evidently military grade GPS is also very hackable.


24 posted on 12/28/2011 10:46:30 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

It’s a rush order, because the Iranians were pissed because they got the old model.


25 posted on 12/28/2011 1:58:06 PM PST by Vermont Lt (I just don't like anything about the President. And I don't think he's a nice guy.)
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To: PreciousLiberty
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.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Iran has close ties with Russia (and their satellites)

26 posted on 12/28/2011 4:27:21 PM PST by JPJones (Frodo Lives!)
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