backtop


Print 45 comment(s) - last by BritishHenno.. on Jan 22 at 4:54 AM


Soldier launching a Raven
The Air Force and Army continue to rely heavily on UAVs

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) remain a reliable staple in the U.S. Military's winged arsenal. The use of remote drones not only puts less expensive machinery in the air, but it also takes American pilots out of harm's way.

According to the Associated Press, the Air Force's use of UAVs doubled between the months of January and October. During that same time period, the Air Force’s use of the Predator drone increased from 2,000 hours per month to 4,300 hours per month.

The Army also saw its UAV usage increase during the past year. The Army's 361 unmanned Ravens, Shadows and Hunters combined for a total of over 300,000 hours of service through the first ten months of 2007. The Raven, the Army's air surveillance workhorse, is expected to rack up more than 300,000 hours of flying time during 2008 alone -- more than double the figure from 2007.

"I think right now the demand for the capability that the unmanned system provides is only increasing," remarked Army Col. Bob Quackenbush, deputy director for Army Aviation. "Even as the surge ends, I suspect the deployment of the unmanned systems will not go down, particularly for larger systems."

"The demand far exceeds all of the Defense Department's ability to provide (these) assets," added Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Gurgainous of the Air Force's unmanned aircraft task force. "And as we buy and field more systems, you will see it continue to go up."

UAVs saw extensive action in both Afghanistan and Iraq during 2007. A Hunter MQ-5B/C UAV dropped a bomb on two suspected enemy insurgents in early September. The Hunter MQ-5B/C has the ability to loiter in the air for 15 hours and can carry up to 260 pounds of ammunition.

Boeing also gave UAVs a boost with the announcement of the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAV. The HALE uses a hydrogen-based Duratec 23 four-cylinder engine to power the aircraft to 65,000 feet and stay aloft for up to one week.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Raven
By Amiga500 on 1/2/2008 10:22:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yeap, same (flight) profile as a bird.

Modern radar sets will detect birds and some can detect insects. Trains and cars can also be detected.

Typically speed filters are applied to remove anything traveling slower than 150-200 km/hr (the operator can adjust as necessary) to reduce screen clutter.

So things like the raven are practically impossible to track on a large scale integrated defense network, more due to software filtering limitations than any hardware problems of the radar itself.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

Related Articles
Boeing's HALE UAV Gets Ford Power
October 24, 2007, 4:27 PM
U.S. Army's Hunter UAV Scores a Hit in Iraq
September 11, 2007, 9:48 AM













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki