back to article UK to build robot stealth raygun jet/copter

Aerospace firms are competing for a "classified" UK MoD contract to build a robotic military stealth aircraft which would be able to hover like a helicopter or fold its rotors and fly as an aeroplane. The "novel air concept" would be able to operate "within urban canyons" and deploy radical new weapons such as microwave or laser …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    For "defending" against the citizens. seems a lot of new military gear is being made like that.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Its not what you think

    A bit like Blue Thunder's Project THOR, it'll be used in a "domestic extremist" context in UK cities, Kabul not being known for its urban canyons any more than say, Henley-upon-Thames.

    Those novel payloads? They'll drop boxes of Jeffrey Archer books to either bludgeon us to death or as an act of inhumanity, make us read them as the jamming gear will stuff all the ebook readers or similar devices

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Why do the government want this?

    To use against their own population, of course! Got to have something available when the proles start getting sniffy about losing their freedom.

    Either that, or another way of keeping the binge drinkers under control on a Saturday night.

  4. Hermes Conran

    Combatants embedded in civilian populations?

    Do we know anywhere like that?

  5. ForthIsNotDead


    WTF do the British Government/Military want with a weapon like this?

    Who are they planning to fight with it?

  6. Daniel Wilkie
    Black Helicopters


    It's quite clearly part of "Operation Rebuild" - we'll launch them en-masse into US and European cities as the first phase of our grand scheme to rebuild the Empire.

    Don't you know anything?

  7. Christoph

    What are the limits?

    Will it be able to fly into tube carriages and take out passing Brazilians?

  8. yomchi86

    Dear Santa...

    This year for Christmas I would like a super stealthy Vtol chopper thingy m bob to play with.....

    Mines the one with the 24 channel transmitter in the pocket.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "urban canyons, defended airspace, 1000km range."

    Moss side, Toxteth or Handsworth then.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Er? #

    They plan to fight You. And me. Does that answer your question? Now turn around and get yourself handcuffed for being suspicious of our unerring government.

  11. Graham Jordan


    Looks like they want to fly these things through London streets for the Olympics.


  12. Pete 2

    Shame Wallace and Grommit aren't bidding

    This contraption sounds like it's right up their street. I expect they'd do a better / faster / cheaper job too. Plus, if they made it out of cheese, it might even turn out to be useful.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Get the fuck out of town, I live in Handsworth.

    What happened to all those groovy "non-lethal weapons" they were playing with a few years back? Getting sprayed with fast setting silly-string is somewhat preferable to aerial rockets or rayguns.

    Time to look into short range jamming technology me thinks.

  14. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    On a different note...

    Lewis --

    Considering the "with the emphasis on ship based operations" phrase; would this tie in, then, with your reports re: the decision to leave off the catapults from the RN's next-gen aircraft carriers and the general downplaying of the naval air arm?

    S/VTOL drones and a bunch of enlisted ratings sitting at consoles 500km out at sea on an otherwise (semi-) useless aircraft carrier -- this looks like the missing piece that explains the whole plan.

    Or am I crediting the powers that be with too much intelligence by assuming that there WAS any actual plan all along...?

  15. Neil Stansbury

    BAE Systems??

    May God have mercy on the budget - and the project remit - and the budget - and the delivery time scales - oh and the likely hood of it every actually working.

  16. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    The big question is...

    Will skynet come about on your side of the pond or the other ? :P

    Better stock up on some emp bombs ;)

  17. Deadly_NZ

    Oh something new and shiny

    I WANT ONE!!!!

    does it have flashing lights and sirens and things to go with the cool ray gun i can use to heat my beans


  18. Matthew Pinches

    behind the times

    didn't doctor claw have one of there on inspector gadget in the 80's

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Just maybe

    they want greater ability than a cruise missile gives them to reduce the likelihood they are killing civilians. Lewis is right on the button in his analysis, a cruise missile is so cheap now that this thing won't be economically viable.

  20. Charles Manning

    'Novel payloads'

    Perhaps paperbacks. Which is why they all look like paper planes.

    MOD: Someone's ripping you off!

  21. Paul 4

    I would say this is in the MoDs remit

    of future war. Everything they seem to do for "future war" seems to be to do with fighting in urban areas. I don't know if this is because the truly fear that one day we will have to go to war with another post industrial nation, or if they have been reading too many post apocoliptic comic books, but either way they come up with some cool toys.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge


    "What happened to all those groovy "non-lethal weapons" they were playing with a few years back? "

    They are for governments who care about the results of using this kit on their *own* people or their international reputation.

    "Time to look into short range jamming technology me thinks."

    Your hoping they will use mobile phone frequencies? Logic suggests a satellite link on top. With global arms vendors on this that would likely be one of those nice (expensive) conformal phased array antennae.

    Mind you when they see the eye watering sat charges they might just go with the mobile SIM card route instead.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: The big question is...

    Personally i hope skynet will be UK pond based as it would then be utterly useless and incapable of deciding on any action at all.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Looks like a paper plane to me!

    Definitely Origami. Not that I am familiar with that you understand.

  25. Graham Bartlett

    Why bother?

    A Predator (roboplane, not invisi-alien) can hang around for a while, can carry worthwhile weapons payloads, travels at not-bad speeds, and doesn't need to risk a pilot around those urban canyons where catching a wing on a building is terminally bad news. And it's small enough that a Predator which does snag a wing is only going to wipe out a couple of cars, whereas a full-sized manned plane is going to flatten the whole street. It should also be fairly straightforward to rig a Predator for building avoidance, so that it can fly itself safely in the event it loses comms temporarily.

    For that matter, why do we need the jet capability either? The Eurocopter helo that Brit cops use has a rated max speed of 165knots. Even in a straight drag race, that's faster than most cars (including heavily-modified sports cars), and in any environment involving obstacles (junctions, corners, other road users) it's guaranteed to have the edge.

  26. Francis Offord

    Pop-up chopper indeed!

    This would have been taken as being obvious when "I were a lad." And were'nt the girls happy with that arrangement???

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