US Deploys first combat drone squadron

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Caterwaul, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Caterwaul

    Caterwaul Busou Shinki Loremaster

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    So...when was Skynet supposed to go online again? :) 

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2007-07-15-reaper_N.htm
    The Reaper used to be called the Predator-B and is essentially a larger Predator, but you gotta admit, Reaper is one HECK of a name for a combat aircraft.
     
  2. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    ...not available for comment.
     
  3. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    Wonder what real combat pilots think of all this.
     
  4. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    I wouldn't worry too much just yet, it sounds like a glorified RC plane.
     
  5. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I had a friend going through flight training for the Navy at Pensacola, and I mentioned these things to him a few years ago.

    I basically said that one day, fighter pilots wouldn't be necessary--they'd all be replaced by video gamers sitting in trailers in Arizona tweaked off Mountain Dew and Skittles. He actually sorta freaked out on me, and told me that was all bullshit, you couldn't ever take the man out of the machine if you wanted it to be effective.

    Then he told me they'd replace field medics with robots before they ever replaced pilots. Ehh.
     
  6. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Oh, hell no. They used a Predator to take out a suspected terrorist in a civilian car in...either Yemen or Oman, I can't recall offhand. This guy had avoided all sorts of other attempts, and apparently, they never even saw this thing coming. They're not F-22s yet or anything, but they will be.

    Think about how many G's you could force an aircraft to pull in a turn if you weren't worried about the pilot blacking out. Same for acceleration. And since they can refuel in flight, you could conceivably leave these thing patrolling an area or circling a target for days just by switching the operator out back at the console.
     
  7. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    I kind of sympathize. Mostly because I have a hard-on for fighter planes.

    On the other hand, the more soldiers that are replaced by teleoperated drones or robots, the less "support the troops" works as a slogan.
     
  8. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I look forward to it. I understand the visceral appeal of fighter planes, but they'd still basically be around. And I'm down for anything that makes waging war safer and easier--even for the guys on the ground, since calling in air cover or strikes would be easier if pilots weren't being placed at risk by the request.
     
  9. King Starscream

    King Starscream <b><font color=blue>The Royal Seeker</font></b> Veteran

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    In the 70's they thought electronics would do all the fighting for them in fighter planes and the kill to death ratio for US fighter pilots went down to about 3:1. Since then, emphasis has been more on improving the pilot's situational awareness as opposed to the pilot having to conform to the plane. And despite the fact that it might be safer for a guy in a trailer in Arizona to be flying, there's still no substitute for human reaction, instinct, and experience. The pilot can use his eyes and his insturments. The guy in Arizona only has a screen and a net connection. And if anyone has played any kind of combat related game (i.e. Halo 2, Rainbow Six) online and experienced lag, then you know you're a useless sitting duck if someone happens to hack into the server or anything similar.
     
  10. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    It may seem like that, but the actual amount of "keep the plane in the air" technology that goes into an aircraft like that is absolutely amazing. For example, a majority of these UCAVs can be left on automatic-pilot for the entire mission, if the military officials feel the mission is not that critical. If there are key targets that require some fancy aerial footwork, they might take the plane off of autopilot.

    The amount of programming and hardware that go into these guys is wild. A group of my friends did a senior project that involved an autonomous (i.e., they never touched a control other than the "on" button) RC plane that dropped a "paintball bomb" wherever they programmed in the coordinates.

    Now, if there's any device that I can think of that's technologically analagous to these Reapers, its a glorified version of that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  11. Cobalt Agent

    Cobalt Agent My dick kills dinosaurs

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    Good. Remote controlled planes could be useful for taking nuclear reactors.
     
  12. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    These aren't the droids you are looking for
     
  13. DaggersRage

    DaggersRage Autistic bastard.

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    Whoooooo! The future of warfare! YEAH! Cheap(er), effective, and safe!

    It sucks to say it, but I can see the future of the fighter pilot being replaced by unmanned drones, not soon, but not far either. I feel this is true because there is less air-to-air combat. The US is having less of a need for aircraft to shoot down other aircraft because there's none to shoot at! Plus we're developing better ground to air defense systems to shoot down aircraft and missiles as well.

    I don't know how accurate I really am (and I'm probably not), I've had my share of watching Future Weapons and other next generation weapon shows. I stated this more on gut feeling really.
     
  14. Greyryder

    Greyryder Kitbashed

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    I don't see them replacing pilots with telepresence for air superiority, any time soon. For ground attack, I think it's a good way to go. If an unpiloted plane gets shot down, all you lose is the plane. And, there's no need to endanger a search and rescue team.
     
  15. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    How many man-eating badgers can it deliver onto a target?
     
  16. DaggersRage

    DaggersRage Autistic bastard.

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    Four.
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron Master of Crystalocution Moderator Content Contributor

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    This is awesome for the cost per unit, the protection of our pilots, and the ability to keep them in the air constantly. You could just have squadrons of these guys flying around a combat zone on their own, and if someone needs air support you have the virtual pilots call up the nearest birds and then blast the feck out of whatever needs turned into smaller bits.
     
  18. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Probably not. I don't believe they're armed with anything heavier than Mavericks, which would be pretty useless against the reactors I'm assuming you're alluding to.

    Most of the sites are suspected to be hardened anyways. Even full-on bunker-buster style bombs or cruise missiles aren't believed to be that useful.
    Unless, of course, they load M-EBs. But I don't think we're prepared to take it that far.
     
  19. Psychomud

    Psychomud Well-Known Member

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    What? First? I call BS.

    The US has been arming Predator drones (RC planes same as above) with sidewinders since the beginnings of our current war. This way commanders on the ground can find targets and immediately fire instead of waiting on air support.

    The downside - they only hold 1 missle - mainly cause they are recon/intelligence planes by default.

    This is old news. It's just a revision of a concept already in play in the US military - and common knowledge (see Discovery channel for more info).
     
  20. Psychomud

    Psychomud Well-Known Member

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    I'm amazed how out of touch people can be with the information in the net and TV so readily available. Unmanned fighters are already in the works. Old news.
     

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