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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:31 AM
Original message
Robot Air Attack Squadron Bound for Iraq


Robot Air Attack Squadron Bound for Iraq
CHARLES J. HANLEY | July 15, 2007 06:21 PM EST


BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It's outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there's no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

The arrival of these outsized U.S. "hunter-killer" drones, in aviation history's first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.

That moment, one the Air Force will likely low-key, is expected "soon," says the regional U.S. air commander. How soon? "We're still working that," Lt. Gen. Gary North said in an interview.

The Reaper's first combat deployment is expected in Afghanistan, and senior Air Force officers estimate it will land in Iraq sometime between this fall and next spring. They look forward to it.
~snip~

The Associated Press has learned that the Air Force is building a 400,000-square-foot expansion of the concrete ramp area now used for Predator drones here at Balad, the biggest U.S. air base in Iraq, 50 miles north of Baghdad. That new staging area could be turned over to Reapers.

more


uhc note: google this to find out more about the Reaper drone.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. Read an excellent story about one of the pilots.
Can't remember where.
Might have come in an email.
Anyway...

I reads like a typical combat mission.
Description of the flight, target acquisitions, armament delivery, etc.

Then the pilot's relief comes in for the next 'shift' and he gets in his car and drives home.

He's in a trailer at Nellis AFB in Nevada 'flying' a Predator in Iraq.

Very Sci-Fi.
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. it's like one big video game, only with real bombs and real victims
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BobRossi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. SkyNet is here.
Terminators to follow soon.
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. Why do I think we have another Mongolian cluster fuck looking
for a place to happen?

"Sorry 'bout that village and those kids."
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Imagine if it's the Green Zone? n/t
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. No problem
Can you say cover up and executive privilege? They've become quite good at it.
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terisan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
5. So One could be in Nevada and crash a plane into tall buildings in NYC ? nt
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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. One could also have been in WTC building #7! Perhaps it collapsed out of shame?
Jetliners have been flown under radio control since the 1960's. Your proposition is anything but fanciful.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
7. Next question: When will airlines do this?
Will passengers ever accept a remotely controlled airplane?
It's sure doable.

Years ago in the Air Line Pilots' mag I read a 'predictions' article.
One said that sometime in the distant future there would be no pilots on the plane. Cockpits were becoming more and more automated. So the flight crew would just consist of an IT/systems guy to ride herd on the computers.

Whatcha think?
;-)
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. What I think is I prefer to driven around by someone more
intimately involved in the process. "If this big ole cattle car in the sky falls down, I'd like you there, flyboy."
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