"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Navy buys $17 million in drones

The Northrop Fire Scout drone approaches the guided-missile frigate McInerney. So far, the Fire Scout has been restricted to reconnaissance work, but now they will be outfitted with laser guided missiles.  24 of the choppers have been made for the Navy.

Are we overspending on the military?
The age of the Robot and Drone is here.  World War II style weapons are going the way of the cavalry.

They say to work smarter, not harder.

With drone and missile technology the military is doing that.  Nothing is safe:  terrorists sitting around a campfire, tanks or aircraft carriers.

But the military is not addressing a major question.  Do tanks, navy ships or even larger numbers of soldiers have any value in a world of drones and missiles?   See our article THE FEDERALIST - "A worldwide arms race to get drones."

In 100 years of naval aviation, only the most experienced combat pilots have performed the difficult task of launching an attack on a nearby target and returning the aircraft to a ship as it bobs in the ocean.  Now that tricky task is being turned over to unmanned drones.

With a $17-million contract, the U.S. Navy has taken the first step in arming its fleet of drone helicopters with laser-guided missiles to blast enemy targets.  The Northrop Grumman Corp.-made MQ-8B Fire Scout would be Navy's first sea-based unmanned system to carry weapons when it's delivered within 15 months.
The aircraft carrier St. Lo was sunk by
Japanese Kamikaze planes.  Today is can
be done by drones,

"It's a very significant moment in naval history," said Mark L. Evans, a historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command. "The weaponization of this aircraft represents a quantum leap in technology compared to what has come before," reports Defense Update.

“By arming Fire Scout, the Navy will have a system that can locate and prosecute targets of interest,” said George Vardoulakis, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for tactical unmanned systems. “This capability shortens the kill chain and lessens the need to put our soldiers in harm’s way.”

Once delivered, Fire Scout will be Navy’s first sea-based unmanned system to carry weapons. According to Northrop Grumman, its ability to operate at low ground speeds makes it particularly well suited for supporting littoral missions such as drug interdiction, antipiracy actions, search and rescue, reconnaissance and port security.

The Navy has an order for 168 Fire Scouts.

In 2000 the USS Cole had a small craft approached the port side of the destroyer. An explosion occurred, putting a 40-by-40-foot gash in the ship's port side.  If a single attack could do this damage what happens when there are multiple attacks by drones or missiles

Ultra expensive military equipment from ships to vehicles can be destroyed in seconds by simple weapons like IEDs.

Aircraft carriers are a creation of World War II era technology.  How long will they last in a world of modern missiles and drones.  Billions in ultra expensive equipment could be at the bottom of the sea in moments.

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