Future of military aviation lies with drones: US admiral 7 replies

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AzH

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#1 9 years ago

Despite the claims of ignoramuses, I'm all for technological advancement - especially technology that saves lives. This was an interesting article I found from the top US Admiral who makes it very clear that the future is unmanned.

Unmanned aircraft likely represent the future for US military aviation with next generation bombers and fighter planes operating without pilots onboard, the top US military officer said on Thursday.

"We're at a real time of transition here in terms of the future of aviation, and the whole issue of what's going to be manned and what's going to be unmanned," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate hearing.

"I think we're at the beginning of this change," Mullen said when asked about plans for developing a new bomber aircraft.

The use of drones has dramatically expanded just in the past few years, he said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the same hearing that military planners needed to answer the question whether a new bomber would have a pilot in the cockpit or operate as unmanned aircraft.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mullen said that Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter now being built could be the last manned fighter jet before robotic planes take over that role.

"I mean, there are those that see JSF as the last manned fighter," Mullen said of the F-35. "I'm one that's inclined to believe that."

The US military and intelligence agencies now use thousands of drones, ranging from small one meter (three feet) long aircraft that can be thrown into the air by hand to the larger Global Hawk with a wingspan of 35 meters (116 feet), in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Although Gates has pushed for cuts in expensive weapons systems -- including plans for expanding the fleet of F-22 fighter jets -- his proposed budget for fiscal 2010 calls for increasing funding for unmanned drones, including Predators and the newer Reapers.

"This is one of the significant growth areas in the budget," Gates said.

The defense secretary's budget calls for spending two billion on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, with much of the money going to drones.

"We will ramp to build 48 Reapers a year during this budget," Gates said.

"We are really placing a major bet in this area."

I agree that it's certainly heading that way, and I agree that it is a good idea to advance technologically. But I worry that this is the first step in a longer journey to remove the fighting man from the Armed Forces and turn them into a group of fat gamers hunched over keyboards (much like the majority of readers of this forum ;) ).

What happens when the next step from this is robots on the ground? Or automated naval forces. If an aircraft can be flown remotely, then a tracked, armed robot can be controlled in much the same way.

The type of war we're going to be fighting in the future is not going to be a conventional "standard" war, by ayssemmetrical. When the line between combatant and civilian becomes blurred, can we leave the safety of innocents in the hands of 'dudes with joypads and monitors'?




Badha1rday

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#2 9 years ago
AzH;4890848Despite the claims of ignoramuses, I'm all for technological advancement - especially technology that saves lives. This was an interesting article I found from the top US Admiral who makes it very clear that the future is unmanned. I agree that it's certainly heading that way, and I agree that it is a good idea to advance technologically. But I worry that this is the first step in a longer journey to remove the fighting man from the Armed Forces and turn them into a group of fat gamers hunched over keyboards (much like the majority of readers of this forum ;) ). What happens when the next step from this is robots on the ground? Or automated naval forces. If an aircraft can be flown remotely, then a tracked, armed robot can be controlled in much the same way. The type of war we're going to be fighting in the future is not going to be a conventional "standard" war, by ayssemmetrical. When the line between combatant and civilian becomes blurred, can we leave the safety of innocents in the hands of 'dudes with joypads and monitors'?

:D It depends. Do these guys have 20 20 vision? Are they the best at what they do? Do they play in the arcade all day? If all three of these are true, I say let's go for it.




Rich19

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#3 9 years ago

It certainly seems the sensible way to go. If you spend millions training a bunch of ace pilots, you'd want them to be able to survive being shot down multiple times, and this is the best way to do that.

(Hopefully the military of the future won't spend half the war teamkilling while waiting for the jets to spawn, though. =p)




Guest

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#4 9 years ago
Rich19;4890896(Hopefully the military of the future won't spend half the war teamkilling while waiting for the jets to spawn, though. =p)

I lol'd.

Look at it this way. If human's are entirely replaced by drones in combat, there will no longer be a point to fighting the damn war in the first place. Plus they might go Skynet on our asses, and that would be a sure way to unite the human race.




The Body Popper

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#5 9 years ago
Afterburner;4891086I lol'd. Plus they might go Skynet on our asses, and that would be a sure way to unite the human race.

I bet Cyberdine developed some of this tech too.

This is great though. But I do fear that it may pave the way for completely autonomous war machines. They would essentially be Terminators. I just dont feel comfortable with something like that having a gun.




NiteStryker

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#6 9 years ago

AzH;4890848Despite the claims of ignoramuses, I'm all for technological advancement - especially technology that saves lives. [/QUOTE]

Nope. You call for the advancement of technology then you admonish those who do so as pussies.

Spoiler: Show
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AzH;4890848 I agree that it's certainly heading that way, and I agree that it is a good idea to advance technologically. [/QUOTE]

All the military commercials talk about "unmanning the front lines". Thats obviously part of the doctrine of new warfare.

[QUOTE=AzH;4890848] What happens when the next step from this is robots on the ground? Or automated naval forces. If an aircraft can be flown remotely, then a tracked, armed robot can be controlled in much the same way.

This is an obvious prelude to a skynet-like defense system. And I am not joking. It may not be called "skynet", but the time is coming when all military machines will be either remote-controlled (which is already spreading quickly), or fully autonomous. All of which will be under the guidence of 1 computer. And bad news for us...it will run windows vista.

[QUOTE=AzH;4890848] When the line between combatant and civilian becomes blurred, can we leave the safety of innocents in the hands of 'dudes with joypads and monitors'?

We reached that line a long time ago, if keyboard critics would pay attention to wtf is happening. We dont know who the innocents are to provide safety to.

A buddy of mine who just got recalled back to active service said when he was in Iraq back in 2005 said his company shot anyone that got within 50 yards of them at any given timebecause so many people came up pretending to want to shake their hands, then blow themselves up.

And the Afghan fighters are no different.

There will never be a war with defined combat lines, that is long gone, as is the days of 2 giant armies get on line and charge eachother. As technology progresses, we wont even have to leave our country to go destroy another.

Thats why I believe EMP weapons should be heavily researched right now, because China and Russia are prolly not too far away from our technological progress either.

I do not believe in total robotical integration either. Make some terminator machines for the spearhead assault, but there must be some human presence.

And as a side note...

This is not a good idea, to tempt fate...




AzH

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#7 9 years ago
NiteStryker;4892361Nope. You call for the advancement of technology then you admonish those who do so as pussies.

Quit being so full of shit all the time. Seriously. :rolleyes:




NiteStryker

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#8 9 years ago

Im all for reducing the number of men on the frontlines, but not a total replacement. You go into the military you know whats up, if you dont want it doing join.

But machines are to assist man, not replace him. Come up with some badass exo-skeletons for our troops to wear with shields and jump-assists and shit (Ive seen some prototypes on military channel pretty badass), but never rely on a machine army to win for you.