How unmanned drones are changing modern warfare

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by singha61, Feb 9, 2010.

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  1. By Chris Bowlby
    Producer, Robo Wars, BBC Radio 4
    Mark Jenkins is an experienced RAF pilot, flying combat missions over Afghanistan.

    But he works from an airbase in Nevada, 8,000 miles away.

    "I've got a 45-minute drive home. And then by the time I'm home, I'm kind of straight into family life."

    He is one of a new generation of pilots who fly drones - or unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, as the military prefer to call them.

    Flt Lt Jenkins trained on conventional planes - but there are now pilots joining the RAF who may never leave the ground, according to Air Vice Marshal Tim Anderson, a top Ministry of Defence planner.

    Drones look in many ways like conventional planes. But in place of a cockpit with a pilot they have noses full of hi-tech surveillance devices and are often armed with missiles and bombs.

  2. No need for Digby any more. sad that.
  3. Not sure I could do that to be honest. Killing folk from a laptop in an office 8,000 miles away just doesn't seem cricket.
  4. Given its essentially video gaming then all of the USAF pilots are going to be 10 - 15 years old with sallow complexions and no chance of getting laid ever
  5. I must say that I have to agree with you on that one. Controlling a reconnaissance UAV from a distant base is one thing, but controlling a UCAV is a totally different set of ethics.

    Personally I just don't understand how this guy can sing the praises of potentially killing people and then, after a short 45-minute commute, be back at home eating pizza and watching the telly with the kids.... Like you say, it's just not cricket and where and on what, do you draw the line..
  6. Wondering if they can work from home when feeling ill?
  7. I wonder what his answer is when his wife asks him whether he's had a good day at the office.
  8. FFS don't let Tony Blair see that, we'll be invading Nevada.
  9. It's just one step on from Bomber Command aircrews flying home from Hamburg, and going down the pub. Not a job many of us could do, I would guess.
  10. Don't forget tht these UAVs are being controlled the JTAC/ FAC that is actually in the GZ . The guy flying it has the easy job. The term "Drone" is a pressism it's called a UAV.

    Edit due to I-phone keyboard faff
  11. Fronty

    Fronty Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    It's the changing shape of modern warfare. The public demand fewer friendly casualties, but still have at least some appetite for war (via the politicians), hence the rise of the machines.

    Why bother flying an expensive manned aircraft when you can put a Reaper in the air for longer and with less risk to your forces? Your ground troops still have air cover, the higher-ups have a better view of the battlefield and there is [potentially] less "fog of war".

    How long before we see the same thing on the ground? Unmanned tanks? Tele-presence suits for ground ops?
  12. I always thought that these types were called Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAV's) asoppossed to the UAV, which is normally for reconnaissance or spotting...
  13. This is how the terminator started people!!!! :p
  14. I bet he still goes to work in a flying suit and claims flying pay.

    Never mind doing it from home when sick, he can probably let his kids do it - saves buying a new Wii!
  15. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    cricket, fcuk cricket

    We should be happy that we are applying our technological advantages

    I think I would prefer we fought on an uneven playing field