An ED-209 with Wings
Is US-standard friendly fire functionality included?
A second X-47B unmanned stealth attack plane is now flying, and the US Navy expects the robot aircraft to demonstrate operations from an aircraft carrier on schedule in 2013. Air Vehicles 1 and 2 of the X-47B UCAS-D project on the flight line at Edwards. Credit: Northrop Grumman Maverick walked out onto the flight line ... …
Yes, quite clever, I suppose. The RAF might like to try and plausibly deny that they would be taking an altogether different and more lucrative and stealthier tack and faster track on future secure defence systems with comparable and not too dissimilar remote control of robotically programmed human assets.
Too late for a D Notice now, Lewis. :-) And it does sort of explain rather well the lack of core military hardware investment of late, doesn't it.
Are they the answer though
I thought the greatest problems have been from a bunch of medieval primitives with AK47's and RPG's. Much as in Vietnam....you know asymmetric warfare. Where you send a million dollar B52 to kill a peasant on a $50 bicycle.
Still I suppose thats why you have the US Marine Corps. Semper Fi!
These vehicles are used to establish air superiority.
Once you own the sky's you control the battlefield.
They are cheaper than the full sized things and you don't have to worry about losing a pilot.
Thumbs up because if you harden the electronics, you've got. An unstable aircraft where you can do high G maneuvers that aren't possible w a human pilot onboard...
The taliban still control Afganistan, Pakistan and Dagestan,,,,, No sign of air superiority achieving anything but longer lingering march of death (on both sides). The IED is still the 'killer' app. Once there is a way to find and destroy these, there will be another example of inimitable human ingenuity that will emerge from the minds of a desperate people with nothing left to lose.
A true stealth weapon would be something that crept in and created an an economy providing structure, reward of opportunity, and a hope of a future worth not dying for.
Unmanned bombers flying on pre-programmed missions will never establish air superiority. Nor can you control an asymmetrical battlefield with unmanned craft. The reason is that all your opponents need to do is to deploy some arse-kicking spark-gap transmitters and your remote control is screwed.
The trouble is that you seem to think in only one dimension. If you think outside the box, you have the capability to do much more with current technology.
In terms of air superiority... You need to look at military history for the past 100 years.
The movies are going to be a bit different though.
Especially the scene where the navy's top fighter pilot arrives in the bar to impress Kelly McGillis, steps off his segway to reveal the beer gut and T-shirt declaring his love for all things trek.
My handle is "l33t-nerd" I downed 32 chinese migs and I'm a 7th level mage in WoW
This generation of UAVs is more T3 than Revenge of the Nerds. Didn't you read the blurb?
"The X-47B is a computer-controlled unmanned aircraft system that takes off, flies a preprogrammed mission, and then returns to base ... The operator ... does not fly it via remote control."
All stealth bombers are upgraded with Cyberdyne computers, becoming fully unmanned. Afterwards, they fly with a perfect operational record. The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes online on August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware 2:14 AM, Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.
Or is this constant push by the US to "dehumanize" warfare slightly unsettling?
The start of this process began in world war 2 where bomber crews could fly at high altitudes and drop massive amounts of death and destruction on the invisible human beings below.
Now we have killing by remote control where operators sit in airconditioned offices to kill more invisible people by the dozen only to be home by five to cook dinner for the family.
Now we are giving soulless machines the ability to hunt down and kill people without a human having to suffer even the slightest discomfort at the fact that they are depriving some child a mother/father/sister/brother.
RoTM jokes aside, I find this trend to be quite disturbing.
I personally find the current trend to use drones to kill 'insurgents' remotely highly worrying, especially when considering the colateral damage.
On the other side, taking out the element of human control is probably the next logical step for a country's military force that has proven again and again to be rather incompetent in general warfare and tactics, and only knows how to solve problems by throwing a shitload of money at it.
Surely it's better that the good guys don't risk getting hurt?
Surely you realize that we are the good guys and we are in the right to bomb people?
Surely it makes you proud to be from the western civilization?
If killing everyone at a wedding saves the life of one innocent child then it's a price worth paying?
"A true stealth weapon would be something that crept in and created an an economy providing structure, reward of opportunity, and a hope of a future worth not dying for"
.. could we be first in line to be hit with one of those, please?
Be even better if it took out corrupt politicians .. which I'm pretty sure means all of 'em