Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring 2011 UAV News

Interesting stuff from today's AIAA news brief.

Light Manned Aircraft May Be Cheaper Option Than UAVs For Some.

Aerospace Daily and Defense Report (5/2, Fulgham) reported that because some countries cannot afford to maintain a force of UAVs for long periods, "a cheaper option is light, Predator-sized, manned aircraft equipped with sensors and weapons designed for the UAV market." Some of these include trainers that are "re-invented as light attack aircraft." Examples cited in the article include the Hawker Beechcraft/Lockheed-Martin AT-6B. According to the article, "given that the aircraft was designed for student-pilot abuse that's similar to the rigors of carrier landings, there appear to be a lot of operational options" such as "irregular warfare, homeland defense and civil support."

"Beast of Kandahar" Employed In Bin Laden Hunt.

Justin Hyde at Jalopnik (5/3) writes how the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel UAV known as the "Beast of Kandahar" was used in the operation that ended in bin Laden's death. The drone "was likely the eyes and ears of the operation, streaming live feeds back to command centers."

Satellite Images Show Location.

Space (5/3) reports Digital Globe released archival satellite images taken in January of the area where Osama bin Laden was found and killed. The company "located the probable compound using coordinates and physical descriptions through open sources."

1 comment:

  1. A light manned aircraft may sound cheap because you can't really quantify the value of human life. The ethical consequences would be more severe should it fail though.