Saturday, January 31, 2009

Analysis: UAVs Protect U.S. Troops In Iraq

Predator B can conduct multiple missions simultaneously due to its large internal and external payload capacity. Photo from Airforce Technology.

From Space Wars:

Unmanned aerial vehicles have proven their worth in the war on terror as reconnaissance and surveillance platforms that provide battlefield commanders with real-time, optically enhanced streaming video of terrain, suspicious movements and intelligence-driven targets of interest.

On the brigade level, the Shadow-200 tactical UAV stands out. On the battalion level and lower, it's the Raven, a hand-launched UAV just 38 inches in length, with a 5-foot wingspan and with nose and side-mounted cameras. The battery-operated vehicle is so small, it can be packed in a suitcase and assembled in minutes. It can take to the air for about 60 minutes to provide soldiers in the field with real-time imagery of what lies ahead, although its cameras lack a zoom capability.

But neither the Shadow nor the Raven is weapons-capable. The Predator-MQ1, however, is another matter. It's the big boy on the block with lethal punch to its payload, as terrorists in Iraq as well as Afghanistan have found out.

Read more ....

My Comment: The Taliban have repeatedly told reporters and journalists that the weapon system that they fear the most are the UAVs. Operating 24/7, with an arsenal that is both deadly and accurate, there is (so far) no defense against such a weapons platform.

No surprise .... every military department in the world now wants their own fleet.

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