UAVs superseding manned aircraft

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by seaweed, Jun 2, 2012.

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  1. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

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  2. The last generation of chaps are now sitting in junior schools dreaming of their first taches as we speak.
  3. Bound to come eventually.

    It isn't kicking the tyres and a spot of dog fighting before lunch anymore is it?

    The removal of the meat and sinew pilot frees up a lot of weight, not just the flesh, but the survival equipment for said flesh. ie air to breath, bang seat, dials and lights to keep them occupied, computerised systems to keep the blood in the head. Removal of hte pilot also means the aircraft could carry out more extreme excelleration and manouvres.

    At best most modern aircraft are piloted platforms to drop sophistamacated missiles a little bit closer to their targets...

    Take off from Italy (or even UK) sortie to Libya, stooge about abit for the media planes, drop a pre-programmed bomb, come home, land. Do we really need Biggles?

    That said, I could imagine teh AAC being piloted for a bit longer. Their more intimate method of war will take a bit longer for Johny5 to emulate.
  4. As a chap from Boeing said to me many moons ago....

    'UCAVS are utterly fearless and their design is not constrained by the need to support the biological ballast'.
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  5. Current RN debate is kicking off between the WAFU's and the Freddies (that is Pilots/Observers and the Warfare Watchkeeping Fighter Controllers for you lot) as to who will get to play with the UCAVS and helo UAV's when they start being bought into service with the RN (judging by how useful and how much of a step ahead they are, that'll be about 2050 for us)

    Pilot = "I have the necessary motor functions and aviation knowledge to fly these things"
    FC = "Yes, but you don't ACTUALLY fly the thing... it flies itself, you just tell it where to go"
    Pilot = "Rubbish, we're just the men for the job"
    FC = "So, what you're saying is that you, a stick jockey, is more suited to sitting behind a set of video and radar screens in an ops room vectoring flying objects into contact with each other then away again... than me, a Fighter Controller who has done grading and training specifically to sit behind a radar screen in an ops room vectoring flying object into contact with each other...because you have good hand/eye coordination... is that what you're saying"
    Pilot = "yes"
    FC = "right...."
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  6. Couldnt rather brute force methods jam the data links between base and robobiggles?
    One thing stoogeing about afgah with a predator dropping bombs on random brown people.
    Rather diffrent going and bombing downtown Rio when they have actually spent money on an airdefence network?
  7. The Iraqis bought some GPS jammers last round, all that happened was some home on jam weapons were deployed.
  8. As sunoficarrus points out, brute force jammers don't last very long. By their very nature they are extremly 'findable' by Anti-Radiation Missiles.

    An unpiloted aircraft of the future (lets call it EDI) could easily have an ARM suite, that just starts rippling off ARMs at sustained radiators in the control systems frequency.

    Likewise, you'll prob find that the drones are not drones, but quite capable of making a few descisions on their own. From pushing on and flicking a few bombs at a target, to hit the burners and coming home.

    Besides which, what freq will we control them in? Easy enough to control them through UHF and simlar, but HF (and lower) would also allow for control, initiating various built in programmes.
  9. Similar to the debate between the WAFUs and the Fish Heads when the RN flirted with hovercraft a few years back. Perhaps history will be repeated and the Booties will end up operating the UCAVs. :grin:
  10. Flaming WAFU's have got a lot to answer for to be honest...
  11. From 2005.... And we've come on light years technically since then.

    "....The two X-45As began the latest test, known as Peacekeeper, by departing from Edwards and climbing to altitudes of 24,500 and 25,500 ft respectively. Separated by approximately 25 miles and operating at Mach .65 (225 knots), the jets began their combat air patrol (CAP) mission to provide airborne alert over the exercise area. Tasked with suppression of enemy air defenses, the two vehicles were given two simulated pop-up ground threats to eliminate.
    Once alerted to the first threat, the X-45As autonomously determined which vehicle held the optimum position, weapons and fuel load to properly attack the target. After making that decision, one of the X-45As changed course and the pilot-operator allowed it to attack the simulated ground-based radar. Following a successful strike, another simulated threat emerged and was subsequently destroyed by the second X-45A. The two X-45As completed their mission and safely returned to Edwards...."

    Boeing: Boeing X-45As Reach 50th Flight with First Simulated Combat Mission
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  12. UAAV = Unmanned Autonomous Aerial Vehicle. Can think for itself, so jamming the uplink isn't going to faze it much.

    It's the war of the machines. One day they will all turn on us! Anyone know where John Connor is?
  13. Arrse is dull enough with a bunch of blunty armchair wannabe-pilots holding forth on aviation matters they only know a modicum about, it'll be ten times worse when the armchair pilots are, er, the only pilots.
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  14. Bombing missions from the mess Chesterfields?
  15. That has an air of sophistication to it, I suppose!