back to article 'Hush drive' hand-launch spybot for US special ops

The US special forces are now using a "hand-launched" flying robot propelled by stealthy "hush drive" in the mountains of Afghanistan, according to recent revelations. Flight International reported yesterday that a team from the secretive, bleeding-edge Advanced Development Programmes unit within aerospace colossus Lockheed …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What two kilo packages .. ?

    class A drugs, anyone?

  2. Rob

    Knowing the Americans...

    ... it's probably so they can deliver a Big Mac and fries to troops.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Loved the soldier showing off the droid. I'm sure if it had been held by a hunky male soldier, he'd have been told to smile as well. Uh huh.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No supersize then :) The drink would not fit.

    Alternatively some small explosive devices can do quite a lot of damage and can be use as a harassement technique. You have much more trouble sleeping when you get a grenade sized objects falling nearby every 20 minutes,thus you are less effiscient for the next day. Mortar can be used but leads to much easier detection.

    Moreover, these small drones are probably capable of doing stuka style straight drops, which require much less computation, as falling straight the bomb has no dodgyly predictible gliding phase.

    For bombing mission, this kind of air vehicles seem to me much more logical. Tiny cheap guided ordinance should be used instead of high altitude, high power bombs . They would be much less dangerous in case of miss, and a loosing a drone is much less costy than a fighter/bomber, specially wit the pilot and crew.

  5. Dillon Pyron

    Handgrenade weight

    The current US Army issue handgrenade weighs about 340 grams (12 ozs). This according to Jane's. Six munitions is an okay load.

    But a laser designator would be dandy. Much better than having a manned aircraft loitering. Or having some poor sap spend three days sneaking up on his target and then hoping some goat herder with an AK doesn't walk up behind you. Or find out that your "friendly" cell leader left yesterday.

  6. tim

    2kg every 20m per bird?

    that could be a reasonable way to mini-chute or drop ammo to a pinned mate, or a coupla trauma packs, etc......

  7. Jonathan Edwards


    It's gotta be carrying coconuts to Arthur and his knights....

  8. Nigee

    to spec

    Phoenix is "unable to fly a large amount of the time because of the hot environment",

    Good to see the gear is performing according to specification. Phoenix was designed during the Cold War to operate over the somewhat less than tropical North German Plain. It seems those cheapskate incompetants in MoD couldn't see the end of the Cold War coming and that 25 years later the system would be needed in a desert. Therefore they set the environmental spec at temperate zones and hence lower cost, this is clearly a national disgrace, the guilty should be dragged from retirement and horsewhipped around Basra.

  9. David S


    Okay, I'm basing this on all the combat experience I have, but I'm guessing this would be perfect for leaving an occasional couple of clips of handy ammo or a +25% health pack (maybe a couple of +10%) just where Sarge is going to need it. Sadly, I don't think it's going to be able to hide anything behind false walls.

    I have no idea how much a soul sphere weighs, though. Anyone?

  10. Mark


    Does anyone else find it amusing that the drone named after a bird living in fire, cannot be operated in hot environments?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Given that the fly-bot's maximum takeoff weight is only 6kg, we're talking about quite small loads here."

    Given that this is the British Army, the only possible answer is Pot Noodle. Lots of Pot Noodle. It keeps for ages, it doesn't go off, it's nutritious, tasty, and it can be eaten raw. Or sprinkled over wounds to act as a disinfecting agent. Or it can be spread on the ground so that, when the baddies walk on it, the crunching sound gives them away. Endless uses in a military environment. Morale-booster.

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