Attack of the drones

The Guardian
January 16, 2011
By Owen Bowcott and Paul Lewis

Unmanned aircraft are now a vital tool in war zones, but our skies could soon be buzzing with spy planes that feed information back to the police

Unmanned aircraft are now a vital tool in war zones, but our skies could soon be buzzing with spy planes that feed information back to the police – and even the paparazzi

There is a second-and-a-half delay between the RAF operator pressing his button and the Hellfire rocket erupting from the aircraft he is controlling, circling in the sky above Afghanistan.

That’s a long time in modern warfare, but the plane is an unmanned “drone” and its two-strong crew are 8,000 miles away at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Right now, the Reaper is being commanded from a console with twin video screens shaped to resemble a plane’s cockpit.

The UK has five Reapers like this one operating in Afghanistan. With a wingspan of 66ft, they are 36ft long, reach a top speed of 250 knots and usually carry four Hellfire rockets and two laser-guided bombs.

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1 Comment on "Attack of the drones"

  1. Nazis will be Nazis… And sheep will always sit back while Nazis do their thing.

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