Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

UAV base in western Iraq
Sky News website ^ | 03.24.03 | Sky News

Posted on 03/24/2003 9:18:43 AM PST by Herodotus

SECRET DESERT AIRSTRIP

US army engineers have built a secret new airstrip in central Iraq to carry out aerial spying missions.

The half-mile strip was fashioned from a patch of bumpy desert and scrub using giant earthmoving equipment and heavy rollers.

At an unknown location, it will allow unmanned spy planes to patrol the skies around Baghdad and gather information for an assault.

The remote-controlled UAVs will provide US military commanders with essential details on Iraqi force sizes, capabilities and movements.

They are particularly keen to learn more about the Medina division of the Republican Guard.

With around 120 tanks and up to 20,000 men in three brigades, the Medina is a substantial force, according to US military intelligence.

It is currently believed to be holding positions about 50m directly south of Baghdad.

US military intelligence officers have repeatedly visited the site in the past 24 hours to check on developments.

Test flights are expected shortly.


TOPICS: Breaking News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: roadtobaghdad; uavs; warlist; westerniraq
Hmmm....this suggests that the ground around the supposed airbase is also free of Iraqi interference, which says a lot about the successes we've had in the western desert!
1 posted on 03/24/2003 9:18:43 AM PST by Herodotus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
It was reported on the news that a predator took out a AAA site today.
2 posted on 03/24/2003 9:23:24 AM PST by finnman69 (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
When we have captured 3 huge Iraqi airfields in the western Desert, why would we expend the effort to build a dirt strip air base?

This sounds like disinformation to keep th Iraqis confused.

OK, OK, More confused

So9

3 posted on 03/24/2003 9:27:15 AM PST by Servant of the Nine (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Servant of the Nine
Quite possibly. Or the range of the Predator is so limited that by making the base as close as possible to the Iraqi forces you maximize on-target time.
4 posted on 03/24/2003 9:32:42 AM PST by Herodotus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Servant of the Nine
When we have captured 3 huge Iraqi airfields in the western Desert, why would we expend the effort to build a dirt strip air base?

It may have to do with the range of the drones and maximizing their time over the target zone.

5 posted on 03/24/2003 9:34:08 AM PST by Carry_Okie (Because there are people in power who are truly evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
"US army engineers have built a secret new airstrip in central Iraq to carry out aerial spying missions."

I guess it is not a secret anymore.

6 posted on 03/24/2003 9:36:52 AM PST by CatOwner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CatOwner
I guess it is not a secret anymore.

Or is it???? BWUHAHAHAHAHA.... (maniacal laughter)

7 posted on 03/24/2003 9:38:54 AM PST by smith288 (Visit my gallery http://www.ejsmithweb.com/fr/hollywood/hollywood.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: *war_list
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
8 posted on 03/24/2003 9:40:48 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: smith288
LOL! Thanks, I needed a good laugh this morning!
9 posted on 03/24/2003 9:41:16 AM PST by CatOwner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: finnman69
"It was reported on the news that a predator took out a AAA site today."

So, we are using the "armed" ones as well as the "Kodak Moments" ones?

In my uneducated (in this area) opinion, if we are going to fight this war "politically correct", we need to turn out these UAVs of every type, size and propulsion...especially the armed ones. It would be nice to have those hovering bombs that cruise around taking pictures of tarkets until we find a juicy one and then...lights out!

Those "un-manned" track vehicles would be cool also the go ahead of any troops into un-scouted hostile areas. Arm them too.

10 posted on 03/24/2003 9:42:06 AM PST by KriegerGeist ("In war there is no substitute for victory" General Douglas MacArthur)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
I think we're about to see a new development in land warfare.

Tanks have been the dominent land-warfare platform up to this point, just like battleships were the dominent sea-platform up until WW-II. This may be about to change. Tanks take a lot of transport capability and fuel to get where they're needed. Swarms of Predators are easier to transport, will result in fewer human casualties, and have fewer logistical demands. I have a feeling that as their controllers get within range of Baghdad, the Iraqis may start seeing some surprises

11 posted on 03/24/2003 9:42:47 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (Heavily armed, easily bored, and off my medication)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
Or the range of the Predator is so limited that by making the base as close as possible to the Iraqi forces you maximize on-target time.

The Predator and other, smaller UAVs do have limited range, while the Global Hawk, with a 1,200 mile range to target, 65,000 foot ceiling and 24 hour loiter would be a longer range option. They've probably deployed a veritable plethora of UAVs for their specific, unique capabilities.


12 posted on 03/24/2003 9:48:52 AM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
I think you may have hit on a huge point. So far, this "war like no other" has been like many others.

Baghdad.... Rotterdam, Amsterdam
US tank forces attacks..... German tank forces attacks

Multiple Predators, with Hellfires could make it a very bad week for concentrated Iraqi armor. One division at a time. No warning. Just, all of a sudden, the tank/truck/apc/person next to you explodes.
13 posted on 03/24/2003 9:53:45 AM PST by MindBender26 (... and for more news as it happens, stay tuned to your FReeper station.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
Especially since, if you lose a tank, you lose 4 soldiers. Lose a Predator and you lose 40,000,000 transistors.
14 posted on 03/24/2003 9:55:11 AM PST by MindBender26 (... and for more news as it happens, stay tuned to your FReeper station.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
I heard about a week or so several combat engineers from the 82nd airborne were sent somewhere secretly to do some work on an air strip somewhere in Iraq. Any idea if this is that air strip? I am concerned because that was about the last time I or any of my son's friends have heard from him. The last time we heard anything from him he was in Kuwait. He was going someplace but he could not say where.
Any knowledge will be appreciated.
Thanks,
John
15 posted on 03/24/2003 9:57:04 AM PST by John D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
"With around (soon to be decimated) 120 0 tanks and up to 20,000 (captured,or killed,) in three brigades, the Medina is an substantial force inconsequential, according to US military intelligence."

There, I corrected the article.

FREEgards

16 posted on 03/24/2003 9:58:23 AM PST by FBD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
A fleet of these things could raise some real hell with Iraqi commanders. Picture a few dozen of them, circling like vultures, waiting to assassinate enemy commanders. Just like how we took out that Al-Qaeda terrorist with an armed Predator about a month ago.

Can the Predator carry anything big enough to kill a T-72 or other big Russian tanks?
17 posted on 03/24/2003 10:08:44 AM PST by George W. Bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: George W. Bush
Can the Predator carry anything big enough to kill a T-72 or other big Russian tanks?

That's precisely what the AGM-114 "Hellfire" missle was designed for (not the 72's specifically, but tanks in general). It was designed to take out any tank currently operating in the world.

18 posted on 03/24/2003 10:17:11 AM PST by IMRight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
Multiple Predators, with Hellfires could make it a very bad week for concentrated Iraqi armor. One division at a time. No warning. Just, all of a sudden, the tank/truck/apc/person next to you explodes.

Exactly. Just like aircraft carriers revolutionized naval warfare in WW-2 with the ability to project power over the horizon, well away from the fleet and out of range of enemy surface ships, "Predator controllers" (moderately armored command vehicles controlling multiple predators from well beyond range of enemy tanks and artillery) will revolutionize land warfare

Also, keep in mind that predators have a narrow wingspan, which means thay can do low-level flying between buildings on city streets, which opens up whole new tactical possibilities

19 posted on 03/24/2003 10:19:31 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (Heavily armed, easily bored, and off my medication)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
Exactly. They are small, quiet, have a low IR signature. Sort of like flying, active anti-armor landmines!
20 posted on 03/24/2003 10:25:27 AM PST by MindBender26 (... and for more news as it happens, stay tuned to your FReeper station.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
Yup, mobile, active anti-armor landmines in the sky.
21 posted on 03/24/2003 10:35:57 AM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: George W. Bush
My understanding is that they UCAVs are armed with Hellfire missiles, which I believe are capable of penetrating the armor of a T-72 from above.
22 posted on 03/24/2003 11:02:02 AM PST by Herodotus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
A Hellfire can take out a tank anywhere. Top, turret-hull ring, rear are all exceptionally good areas. Even a suspension system hit is a "mobility kill" because a tank that can't move is a dead tank.
23 posted on 03/24/2003 11:11:12 AM PST by MindBender26 (... and for more news as it happens, stay tuned to your FReeper station.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
We've read a lot about the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marine EF. Where is the rest of V Corp? Care to speculate if the 101st will lifted and dropped north of Baghdad? I think most of the 82nd is in Afgahnistan.
24 posted on 03/24/2003 11:12:12 AM PST by ironman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: MindBender26
I'm not too sure though that the Air Force/SF would want to waste their time using the UCAVs against Iraqi armored formations just yet when the A-10s and Apaches are just as good at doing that and have more armaments.

Probably we're using this for extreme long range spotting?
25 posted on 03/24/2003 11:16:25 AM PST by Herodotus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: ironman
I think the behavior of the Turks will make the 101st needed more in the North
26 posted on 03/24/2003 11:17:15 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (Heavily armed, easily bored, and off my medication)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
I'm not too sure though that the Air Force/SF would want to waste their time using the UCAVs against Iraqi armored formations just yet when the A-10s and Apaches are just as good at doing that and have more armaments.

In an environment with lots of dug-in AAA, I think the Apache drivers would prefer to let the Predators do the inital wave, targeting AAA and SAM sites particularly

27 posted on 03/24/2003 11:24:33 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (Heavily armed, easily bored, and off my medication)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
Hail of Gunfire and Grenades Forces Apaches to Pull Back
28 posted on 03/24/2003 11:29:25 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (Heavily armed, easily bored, and off my medication)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
Oooh the history accounts of this are going to be interesting to say the least. Esp. if we turn this into a dramatic unmanned fight...a real transformation of warfare.
29 posted on 03/24/2003 11:36:22 AM PST by Herodotus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Servant of the Nine
It's obviously a pork-barrel project intended to appease the local union there.
30 posted on 03/24/2003 11:44:47 AM PST by capydick (The triumph of evil is short)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Herodotus
It's started: Predator UAV Employed to attack air defenses
31 posted on 03/24/2003 12:58:24 PM PST by SauronOfMordor (Heavily armed, easily bored, and off my medication)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson