Posts Tagged uav

New UAV Could Be Patrolling Your Neighborhood Soon

From Danger Room:

Vanguard has already been awarded a multi-million dollar deal to use the robo-copters for anti-piracy missions in Africa, but its hopes for the little tasering robot soar much higher. It envisions the Shadowhawk helping out in everything from tactical night ops to arms trafficking surveillance, from oil rig inspections to perimeter security. Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of Montgomery County Texas says he can’t wait to use it for SWAT callouts and narcotics raids.

Anyone who has seen the TV show Dark Angel should be concerned.

Vanguard Defense

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Al Qaeda’s Leadership in Yemen

Al Qaeda’s Leadership in Yemen is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Scott Stewart

On May 5, a Hellfire missile fired from a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) struck a vehicle in the town of Nissab in Yemen’s restive Shabwa province. The airstrike reportedly resulted in the deaths of two Yemeni members of the Yemen-based al Qaeda franchise group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and injured a third AQAP militant. Subsequent media reports indicated that the strike had targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born member of AQAP, but had failed to kill him.

The May 5 strike was not the first time al-Awlaki had been targeted and missed. On Dec. 24, 2009 (a day before the failed AQAP Christmas Day bombing attempt against Northwest Airlines Flight 253), an airstrike and ground assault was launched against a compound in the al-Said district of Shawba province that intelligence said was the site of a major meeting of AQAP members. The Yemeni government initially indicated that the attack had killed al-Awlaki along with several senior AQAP members, but those reports proved incorrect.

In 2009 and 2010, the United States conducted other strikes against AQAP in Yemen, though most of those strikes reportedly involved Tomahawk cruise missiles and carrier-based fixed-wing aircraft. Still, the United States has reportedly used UAVs to attack targets in Yemen on a number of occasions. In November 2002, the CIA launched a UAV strike against Abu Ali al-Harithi and five confederates in Marib. That strike essentially decapitated the al Qaeda node in Yemen and greatly reduced its operational effectiveness for several years. There are also reports that a May 24, 2010, strike may have been conducted by a UAV. However, that strike mistakenly killed the wrong target, which generated a great deal of anger among Yemen’s tribes, who then conducted armed attacks against pipelines and military bases. The use of airstrikes against AQAP was heavily curtailed after that attack. Read the rest of this entry »

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Return of The ‘Beast of Kandahar’ Stealth Drone

“Back in 2009, the Air Force confirmed that it had a mysterious stealth drone, the Lockheed RQ-170, flying over Kandahar in Afghanistan — the subject of much online speculation and grainy photography. Now, after something of a lull, the Secret Projects forum has new pics of the drone that Ares aviation ace Bill Sweetman dubbed “The Beast of Kandahar.”

Not much is known about the Beast. It’s not believed to carry any missiles, and the new photographs don’t indicate that it’s armed. And as David Hambling wrote at Danger Room at the time, it’s a mystery why the stealth Beast even patrols Kandahar, given all the other drones in the skies above and the Taliban’s lack of radar.”


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The Eyes in the Sky

Sgt. Richard Knuth (left), Sgt. Winston Chin (middle) and Pfc. Anthony McCormack, all assigned to "A" Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, load an unmanned aerial vehicle on to a launcher, Jan. 25, at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq. UAV's are so heavy they require three Soldiers to load them.

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Starting this week the entire border between the United States and Mexico will be patrolled by aerial drones

Image courtesy General Atomics. An artist's rendition of Predator B, the unmanned aerial drone patrolling the US-Mexico border for human and drug trafficking, and other threats.

Beginning this Wednesday, the entire 2,000 miles of border between the United States and Mexico will be patrolled by unmanned aerial drones. Three drones are already patrolling portions of that border, and a fourth Predator begins operations tomorrow out of Corpus Christi, TX, completing the full stretch of la frontera.

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Boeing’s Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system (UAS)

Boeing’s Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system (UAS) is an in-house “one off” technology demonstrator that will serve as a flying test bed for multiple, new, advanced technologies including:

— intel / surveil / recon
— locate / neutralize enemy air defenses
— hunter / killer missions
— electronic warfare
— autonomous aerial refueling

Boeing in-house project:
— designed and developed by Boeing’s Phantom Works division
— uses technologies Boeing pioneered in prototype for Joint-Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS)
— funded and built by Boeing Defense, Space & Security in St. Louis
— no tax dollars used

Length …………………. 36 ft ……….. 10.9 m
Wingspan …………….. 50 ft ……….. 15.2 m
Gross Weight ……….. 36,500 lbs .. 16,556 kg
Operating Altitude …. 40,000 ft ……12,192 m
Cruise Mach … 0.8 … 614 mph ….. 988 km/h
Engine …………………. F404-GE-102D

Project started in 2008
– taxi tests (est): Summer 2010
– first flight (est): December 2010

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Alleged US missiles kill 12 in Pakistan

MIR ALI, Pakistan – Suspected U.S. missiles killed 12 people Saturday in a Pakistani tribal region filled with Islamist insurgents bent on pushing Western troops out of neighboring Afghanistan, intelligence officials said.;_ylt=AjAxzVvP5XaFyvyqDx0IZQ50fNdF

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170th Soldiers train to keep eyes in the sky

Pfc. Christopher Cervantes, an unmanned aerial vehicle maintainer with 3rd Platoon, 502nd Military Intelligence, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Cpl. Frederick Tuisl III, also an unmanned aerial vehicle maintainer with 3rd Platoon, loads the Shadow RQ-7B unmanned aerial vehicle onto its launcher here during mission readiness training July 8, 2010. Photo by Sgt. Christopher Klutts

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Stealth Drones

Via Danger Room:

…the Avenger is capable of staying in the air for up to 20 hours, and operating at up to 50,000 feet. Powered by a 4,800-lb. thrust Pratt & Whitney PW545B jet engine, it can fly at over 400 knots — 50 percent faster than the turboprop-powered Reaper unmanned plane, and more than three times as quick as the Predator.

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Darpa proposal: Death-from-Above — on Demand

“Darpa would like to cut out all [the] middle men. Instead, the Pentagon’s R&D arm wants to build an air strike network with exactly two nodes: the air controller on the ground, and the robotic, heavily-armed airplane in the sky.

Darpa calls the project Persistent Close Air Support, or PCAS. Think of it as death-from-above — on demand.”

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Stanford Creates “bird-like” Plane

Via Danger Room

Stanford University researchers have already figured out how to build a drone that can land on the side of a wall, perch there for a while, and then take back off into air again. The Pentagon would like to make its robotic aircraft even more bird-like. The military recently handed out a trio of contracts to design legs that will let these “micro air vehicles” hang onto a branch in high winds, and run around on the ground if need be. The question is whether these Pentagon-backed firms can top Stanford’s already-impressive results.

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