Friday, May 27, 2005

Wired Covers The Development Of The Robotic Air Force

Wired magazine has put up an excellent article which chronicles the revolution that is happening in the US military as it converts to a robotic force.

"The whole thing, from legal decision to command to execution, took five minutes. Tacticians call that time line - target acquisition, deployment of force, order to attack, destruction of target - the "sensor-to-shooter cycle" or "kill chain." It's a measure of any military's reflexes; in Gulf War I, the kill chain was often three days."

"Air Force planners aim to buy 144 more armed Predators, boosting the number of squadrons from 3 to 15."

The Air Force still seems to be caught up in the fighter jock mentality, allowing only certified fighter pilots to take the stick of their drones. The Army is taking a different tack with over 800 drones in combat flown by soldiers in the field.

In 1996 troops armed with drones were the first ever to defeat the trainers at the National Training Center in Fort Irvin, CA. The drones allowed the challengers to spot every move the elite training force was making.

Deployed via land, sea and air MilBots are fundamentally changing warfare as we know it.