Gallic Robots. (No need for weapons, then!)
Having just read Lewis Page's excellent article, I must say at first I was surprised by,then just accepted, the fact that this country seems to be lagging behind in almost everything save demoralising the population,and hastening the demise of what was once world class Amed Forces. I was, at first, amazed that France, who show so little appeteite to support any but their own interests, should be involved in this. Then it became clear that getting wars fought (whether won or lost is immaterial) by robotic soldiers or aircraft is a real vote winner. Very few people (in the military, that is.) will die. Expensive yes, but much easier to knock out a squadron of UAVs on the production line, than pop in to Pilots;r Us and buy a squadron of fighter pilots,( with WOs/EOs as optional extras. )
Not that this country has lacked the expertise. In the 20s and 30s we had the Tiger Moth Queen Bee. a droned aircraft which could fly by radio control, and the aim of which was to give the gunners of our (then large!) fleet target practice. It could only fly gentle banks and turns,and was strictly radio controlled, but it was advanced for that period.
The 50s saw amore advanced set up of a pilotless Canberra bomber able to be remotely piloted in much the same style. We have never been short of drone technology, but this is a far cry from the on board decision making ability of todays UAVs. Thee Israelis are well uip in the field,having used these robotic aircraft to good effect on defence supression missions many times. As is so often the caes the USA has advanced beyond most in the field, so it would seem. The Germans had it first with command guidance missiles with an air launch capability in WW2, but having come second in that one, are now very last year. (A lot of wooly headed cardigan wearing weird politicos in government have done them no favours either.)So, I would say that if this Euro-UAV is on the drawing board, it will be there for many years to come. Eurofighter is hardly living up to what is claimed for it on the box. Plus, with the current Franco German thinking on getting involved in a SHOOTING war, it is highly unlikely that it will ever fly in a bad mood, let alone anger. And to those who worry aboput Asimov's "Three Laws of robotics " getting in the way, no problemo! Just don't programme the little suckers, and let 'em do their thing. R2D2 it ain't!