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Predator ready for takeoff
The most common drone is the tiny Raven RC plane

All branches of the U.S. military are moving more and more to drone aircraft to patrol the skies in their respective theaters. Drones are typically cheaper than normal aircraft and don’t put pilots in harm's way over hostile territory. Some drones simply gather intelligence and others are equipped with weapons to attack targets.
 
A new congressional report that Wired has laid hands on has an interesting statistic tucked away inside the dry document. Just about one in every three aircraft the military operates today is a drone (the exact percentage is 31%). The majority of the drones are of relatively small and used for intelligence gathering along the lines of the Raven used by the Army.
 
That Raven is the most common drone in the military arsenal with 5,346 of them in the field. The Raven is a small drone that looks like a toy and is launched by hand, simply by throwing it. The less common, but better known drones in the military arsenal includes the 161 Predator and Reaper drones that are armed and can conduct attack missions.
 
While the number of drones in the fleet is growing, the vast majority of money goes to manned aircraft. Wired reports that 92% of the money allotted to buying aircraft goes to manned systems. The total money spent on drones by the military since 2001 when adoption first began adds up to a huge number. The military so far has reportedly spent $26 billion on drones.
 
When it comes to losses due to crashes, the military has lost 38 Predator and Reaper drones. It has also lost one of the RQ-170 Sentinel drones that was recently captured by Iran using a GPS hack to force the aircraft to land. As it stands now, once the last of the Predator drones is delivered, the more capable Reaper will be the drone of choice.

Source: Wired



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You cant make this up.
By Mitch101 on 1/11/2012 2:19:58 PM , Rating: 3
Iran’s Flying Saucer Downed U.S. Drone, Engineer Claims
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/iran-ufo-d...

The Islamic Republic used force fields and flying saucers to subdue and capture the unmanned aircraft.




RE: You cant make this up.
By idiot77 on 1/11/2012 6:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
Saw the pic and stopped there.

The thing is, if they figured out what frequencies the drone takes command from, it wouldn't be that hard to make a jammer that would interrupt it.


RE: You cant make this up.
By Reclaimer77 on 1/11/2012 7:14:44 PM , Rating: 1
You don't need to know any frequencies to jam UAV's. If you flood the air with enough jamming energy across all frequencies, the UAV is screwed. That's exactly what Iran did.


RE: You cant make this up.
By Mitch101 on 1/11/2012 7:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand they jammed the drones GPS signal and note in the photos they dont show the entire drone and its landing gear meaning they werent able to land it and it crashed.

I am surprised the unit didnt have a self distruct option in case of capture at the very least all programming should be wiped.


RE: You cant make this up.
By Reclaimer77 on 1/11/2012 8:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
No no, jamming the GPS was step 2. Step 1 was jamming the communications link to force the drone into some kind of auto-circle mode.

Once you block the link between the guy flying it and the drone, these things become REALLY helpless and stupid.


RE: You cant make this up.
By Mitch101 on 1/12/2012 7:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
SOMEONE POSTED FOOTAGE OF THE HOW THEY JAMMED IT!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcArnepkhv0


RE: You cant make this up.
By theaerokid on 1/12/2012 10:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
Assuming that the drone used the most secure level of GPS available it is extremely difficult to spoof. Even if you manage to jam comms to make it return or loiter, giving it false GPS coordinates HIGHLY unlikely; almost statistically impossible. It is more likely that they decrypted the comms link.


RE: You cant make this up.
By Reclaimer77 on 1/12/2012 12:00:52 PM , Rating: 3
I like how everyone says it's impossible and yet Iran has the damn thing in their possession.


RE: You cant make this up.
By geddarkstorm on 1/12/2012 2:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
Hello irony.


RE: You cant make this up.
By Strunf on 1/12/2012 7:33:08 AM , Rating: 2
Make fun all you want but the fact remains they HAVE your drone and aren't planning to give it back!


$26 Billion spent on drones
By theangryintern on 1/11/2012 3:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
And a good chunk of that money has come to the company I work for, which makes the Predator and Reaper UAVs.




By ClownPuncher on 1/11/2012 3:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
That pretty much means this article is about you.


RE: $26 Billion spent on drones
By Paj on 1/12/2012 7:31:57 AM , Rating: 2
Did drones exist before 9/11?


RE: $26 Billion spent on drones
By theaerokid on 1/12/2012 2:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. I happened to be designing one when the whole thing was going down.


hmmmm...
By NellyFromMA on 1/11/2012 4:25:29 PM , Rating: 3
Does the Raven really fit into the 'war plane' category if it can be launched by physically throwing it? Seems weird.




Just the begining
By Kefner on 1/11/2012 3:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
Next comes Skynet!




Your picture ...
By Atomicslug on 1/11/2012 5:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
... is of a Reaper, not a Predator.




One in Ten
By AEvangel on 1/11/12, Rating: -1
RE: One in Ten
By kattanna on 1/11/2012 4:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
thats awesome optimism there


RE: One in Ten
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/11/2012 6:20:58 PM , Rating: 3
More like hard realism.


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