Discussion in 'Infantry' started by tomahawk6, Feb 11, 2005.

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  1. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Read the cost $100,000 per 3 toy plain unit. So thats another 3 Bns disbanded then.
  2. " Target cost at full rate production is approximately $60,000-70,000 per system."

    If a country is doing defense on the cheap then this wouldnt be very attractive. But for the nation that wants to give its soldier's an edge over the enemy then this is a small price to pay for doing just that. With this system a company CO can see the ground ahead of his unit in real time. Takes the guess work out of patroling.
  3. hey I could knock one of them buggers up for around 20k...

    quick visit to Radio Shack, Maplins, Jessops and beaties (of course the markup would be about 19K)
  4. How do they deconflict with rotary wing then ? That's always been a source iof unease for these little UAVs.
  5. We had access to them (or similar) in Mar/Apr 03 and they were pretty damned useful. But not a relacement for recce tps. I just get worried every time we believe we can replace our best sensors with something made from silicone and plastic. (As our illustrious Sec of State for Def would have us believe).
  6. Like anything else its a tool. This way you can ID an area for a ground patrol to investigate rather than sending out the recon element blind.
  7. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    This kit has been looked at for some time and the infantry is dead keen on getting in to service. Experience in TELIC when the US embeded teams carrying this kit to aid commanders on the ground. It is viewed as a major force multiplier and every inf Bn came back saying - we must get this capability.

    My understanding of the difficulties is that the RAF heard they have wings. Someone up town has decided these "toy aircraft" when used for mil purposes must meet "ac flying safety rules" as any other military aircraft has to. A big stopper being no of flights per failure - the figure is huge + they don't like the fact that the "ac" is unmanned. Of course the rest of the world has gone ahead, bought and used them - these boys want long term testing before they are willing to accept them into service.

    Dragoneye lands by crashing itself at a pre-determined programmed point. The safety boys, naturally, are saying, that's dangerous and how about putting a parachute on the plane so it doesn't hit anybody.... Guess what - fundimental change to tech required, cost of extra engineering and equip and therefore buying one offs rather than OTS - do we never learn?

    All in all, it doesn't really matter what price you put in this page about how much Dragoneye comes in at. After testing, trialing and mods, the price to UK Plc will be at least $200000 per unit if the PC crowd up town are allowed to have their ludicrose way in stopping a quick purchase what is after all, off the shelf battle proven equipment. We won't be buying many at that price.

    If you want to see how effective the US have found MUAVs, have a look at the new ORBAT for their Bdes (or by new terminology - Units of Action) - Dragoneye is viewed as a section asset! They have seriously bought into the concept, to a level I doubt we could afford or wish to persue but reasonable guidance for ourselves in the way the net enabled battlefield is going.

    Sorry for the rant but PC buying policies and over enthusastic ?light blue?staff up town protecting interests and hampering the purchase of an bit of kit that significantly enhances inf capability annoys me

    Let's do something quick + cheap for once.
  8. Not only are the RAF treating them as ac. Got anAmerican mate who gas transfered from his Administration MOS to become an UAV Pilot.

    He had to do a full flying medical and pass before being accepted.
  9. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    May be true for some of the big stuff (Predator) and not surprising considering the size and cost of it (bigger than a 707) but the training package for a soldier for Dragoneye is a couple of hours only.

    US find that their junior soldiers are more than just a little IT savvy - God bless Playstation and X box - and by keeping the programming of a flight pattern for MUAV (such as Dragoneyes) simple that time is plenty for its use as a tactical tool.
  10. Just tell the Luddite fcukwits its a very slow missile with a camera.

    Jobsworth turds.
  11. Wow - he must be really small! :lol:
  12. I think that some confusion exists here. There are many types of UAV, ranging from the small aircraft you can buy at the toyshops to things as big and capable as a business jet. They should not all be treated the same.

    Ones that take off from runways, need to share airspace with other manned assets and fly over civilian areas (eg Hunter, Predator, Global Hawk, Watchkeeper) need to be treated in the same manner as manned aircraft. They all have to share the sky, use the same ATC and avoid falling on top of people - hence similar requirements. Certification and legislation are identical, the operator is just as liable as "pilot in command" as the chap with the wings in the manned aircraft.

    The US took the easy option and dropped a pilot into the seat. Arguably he's overtrained in many areas but he can always go back to flying a F-16 for his next tour. Other operators don't use pilots but do use professional aviators suitably trained. You could put someone with no aviation experience in to push the buttons but you'll never be allowed by anyone's air force or civil authority to share the sky with anyone else. Which means you're no use to anyone.

    The current UK problem is that Phoenix had to do none of these things and consequently the current operators have no conception whatsoever of the scale of the task or experience. It could take off and land within a range and as it had a parachute it didn't have to be safe as long as the parachute could be fired if it looked like leaving said range.

    Watchkeeper will be very different. The gunners have not helped themselves by trying to insist that they should continue to fly the things with no training, while the RAF are trying to exploit this to take over more than they need to. Both sides are facing cuts so are motivated. Neither one should be looking after the sensors and reporting though, that should be the Int Corps. But as they are seemingly incapable of getting all their manure into one location for new projects that won't happen.

    The beauty of small ones like Dragoneye is that they fall under the rules applying to model aircraft, which are far more lenient. With a bit of thought and training you can get some very useful work out of them, You can train in peacetime perfectly legally low and within visual range and use the full capability in wartime - as long as the other mil traffic knows you're there.
  13. I hate it when people who obviously know what they are talking about respond to my childish rantings in a considered and mature manner.

    But then again I'm Inf.
  14. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Sadly mistaken - the ruling is that any ac to be used for mil use comes under the RAF guidance. Last years demo of MUAV on Salisbury Plain went to rat because the majority of ac (all hand held or thrown to get them started) did not have the correct flight status/paperwork (check with for RAF bretheren for the correct term) and therefore the demo of ac flying was limited to a handful of the 20 or so on show. DRAGONEYE, being demo'd by the USMC was not allowed to fly....