are racking up even more flying time in missions across Iraq and Afghanistan,
with UAV technology hardware and software development increasing at a rapid
The Pentagon is under more pressure to wrangle
out-of-control military spending after years of costly wars -- and that has led
to new innovations aimed at lower-cost UAV technology that is still fully
capable. Private contractors are scurrying to manufacture these smaller,
cheaper, yet still reliable unmanned aircraft as quickly as possible -- billions
of U.S. federal dollars are at stake in 2011 and the coming years.
Some new projects include smaller
and cheaper UAVs and munitions that are quieter and able to engage
targets at a more rapid pace. The new generation of military technologies
range from a 13-lb. smartbomb to a ground-fired mini-cruise missile able to
scout out targets to engage. Handheld UAVs also have been effective, even
Defense contractors and U.S. military leaders
continue to share information -- and resources -- to ensure the U.S. remains at
the top in UAV development.
UAV operators are skilled pilots that expertly
maneuver the unmanned aircraft to monitor and attack suspected targets.
It's a skill that the pilots focus on to help assist ground troops looking to
conduct missions after airstrikes take out specific targets. UAVs also
frequent the mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where U.S.
military officials believe insurgents are able to sneak in fighters and
supplies. This area is extremely difficult to patrol on foot, so UAV
flight time greatly assists future missions.
The U.S. Air Force has an interactive
website focused on UAVs, including a brief video demo, and then
visitors are given the chance to play a virtual UAV game.
Initially used for reconnaissance and as a quieter
means to track the enemy from above, UAVs quickly evolved with live munitions
and GPS-guided laser bombs able to hit specific targets. The flight
times, munitions carried, flight capabilities, and other major adjustments are
being made to future generations of UAVs.
The popularity of UAVs has led to a number of
countries ordering and sharing technologies with one another. The French
Defense Ministry and Germany are interested in sharing technology with the
United States and Israel -- the No. 2 manufacturer of UAVs following the U.S.
-- as money and future weapon exchanges are agreed upon.
quote: Only to have China later "saved" by communism.
quote: Europe and the UK were terrible in the early 20th century and before - the colonialism of Africa
quote: Or putting Jews and Muslims together... oh, wait.
quote: My viewpoint does not need to understand the subject of how the Europeans carved up Africa. While there were some conflicts while France, UK, Belgium, were there the continent was largely peaceful.
quote: Im saying that Africa was fine before colonialism, it has become much worse since. The legacy of colonialism and the slave trade is the problem. You can trace much current conflict back to this - its not because theyre just stupid people who cant get a long no matter what. Do suggest so is pretty goddamn racist actually.
quote: But to say that this person committed the crime based on RACE - that they are inherently stupid, murderous thugs, as you and others were doing - is racist.
quote: I'm saying Europeans must bear responsibility for the actions committed in colonial times, and the effects these actions have had on the current problems in postcolonial societies.
quote: Which was the real reason why they didn't want the US to invade Iraq. They can spout whatever public line they like...the truth is the truth.
quote: "Need is not a virtue." - Ayn Rand
quote: That's a big ass hole"
quote: The only collision occurring is that between rich, technologically advanced and belligerent invaders and oppressed, invaded society that has been known nothing but despair, corruption and strife since world war I, and conquest for hundreds of years before that.
quote: Im sure youre aware that Islam led the world when it came to science 5 centuries ago? That they conducted revolutionary studies into optics, astronomy and mathematics while Europe was embroiled in petty religious wars?
quote: 1939-45: World War II (55 million)
quote: Ethnic divisions were actually made worse by the Imperial powers as a means of dividing the population (ie Belgium). This is one of the factors that led the Rwandan genocide.