Category Archives: UAV

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – UAV aircraft

Dominator UAV – New Boeing JITSA Technology

Dominator UAVConcepts abound on this website; ideas like:  How can I use technology, a little imagination, and the hardware on the shelf to create a system to kill as many things as possible?  How can I completely dominate an area?  How can I completely dominate an area without using any human assets at all, but with all these cool new gadgets my college boys back home keep dreaming up?  Well, aside from just nuking it and drinking a cup of coffee, a commander could decide to launch a carrier of sorts, an aerial cargo ship, loaded with pallets of small UAVs, that when launched, create a swarm of networked UAVs loaded with EFPs (the same smart skeet used in the sensor-fused weapon) capable of killing all the enemies :)  Really though, forget launching multiple MQ-9 Reapers that each require a highly trained pilot, why not just lay off the pilots and use fully automated software to control a swarm of UAVs that do all the killing autonomously.  I guess its time to introduce the Boeing Dominator, a UAV designed by a man named Gregory Jenkins of the USAF’s Air Armament Center. The UAV’s role is to enable JITSA, or Just-in-Time-Strike-Augmentation, which basically is a concept to fill in the time gaps in typical strike scenarios.  For example, a JTAC on the ground could call in an airstrike, 4 minutes for the jets to get there, and then they fly off. Then another target appears, damn what now, another 4 minutes? With a system like JITSA, there would be a swarm of UAVs overhead that can attack anything at anytime. Save the Reapers and Predators for secret assassination missions.  But employ the Dominator for large scale offensive operations to do exactly what technology is designed to do, fill in the gaps, and Dominate.

Maybe Mack can help explain, and video helps a lot too. Check it out.

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UAV Cockpit or Video Game?

Cockpit for UAVs

Although the image on the left might look like a tricked out video game setup, it actually represents Raytheon’s new approach to the UAV cockpit for the “chairforce”. Thats right, these cockpits will be constructed by the hundreds and filled with eager video game nerds turned Air Force Commandos. From within these cockpits, recruits will guide advanced aircraft with a variety of munitions into unfriendly territory to monitor and track enemy activity.

It would seem that one would be under much less pressure during a mission than if there were an actual pilot on site pulling G’s and making split second decisions. These Universal Control Systems as they are known will be used in just about every conflict keeping our most valuable assets, the troops, out of harms way. Think you could fly one of these bad boys?

Fire Scout – UAV Helicopter

Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC]
Fire Scout DisplayResearch and development dollars are obviously not an object for Northrop Grumman.  From behind closed doors emerges a UAV helicopter attack ship; no doubt the product of an intense development program.  The Fire Scout UAV is capable of autonomous take-off, landing, and flight; but of course it can be controlled remotely as well.  Likewise, I have no doubt that there has also been some engineering man hours put into enabling it for preprogrammed strike missions.  Of course they’ve already equipped some with the Metal Storm weapon, the highest round-per-second gun ever built, mounted on the weapons pylons.  Technically, the Fire Scout can be equipped with a multitude of different equipment, from the most deadly weapons to even peaceful observational equipment.
Fire Scout LandThis bad boy has already been procured by the US Army, whose interest in turn spurred a purchase by the US Navy.  Apparently, it’s also impressive that the Fire Scout  landed on a moving ship, autonomously, during its testing phase, which demonstrated it’s computerized navigation system compensating for the movement of the landing pad.  Deployment plans schedule the Fire Scout to be used at the brigade level, and I’m sure that they are looking forward to having such a weapon added to their already omnipotently superior arsenal.  On a final note, the Fire Scout is also designed to operate as one of the many cogs in the network-centric weapons development program known as Future Combat Systems.
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The Future Battlefield – War in the Future

Future of War

Clicking the image above will provide you with a full size image

Many advanced military technologies are on the battlefield in the middle east protecting US and allied troops from harms way. The United States Military is moving to a more mobile fighting force with unmanned aerial vehicles and robots to deploy in dangerous tactical situations. The reconnaissances technologies of the US military and other advanced nations have the ability to plot out enemy positions to a T for unmanned vehicles and stealth aircraft to engage. The future of war will consist of literally thousands of robots and unmanned vehicles tracking and engaging dynamic enemy threats.

Here is a list of just a couple of the technologies changing the battlefield:

  1. Predator and MQ9 Reaper or Predator B
  2. SWORDS – miniature combat robot
  3. Firescout-unmanned aerial vehivle – helicopter
  4. Gladiator-unmanned land Vehicle with munitions
  5. Micr0 – UAV’s such as the Flybot
  6. X-47 – long endurance UAV for reconnaissances
  7. Big dog – Carry ammo and munitions to other Robots

If you think these technologies are incredible, look around for pictures and videos of the most advanced weapons systems in action.

Flybot – Fly shaped Robot for Reconnaissance

The Flybot, a new robotic reconnaissance fly may help keep a more soldiers, and others out of harms way.

Scientists at Harvard have invented a robotic fly to send on reconnaissance missions in areas too dangerous for humans, such as those contaminated by chemical or biological weapons.

It can also be used to find hidden bombs and in search missions.

Fly UAV flybot

The “flybot”, which can fit on a fingertip, is made of lightweight carbon and weighs less than a pin.

Researchers, led by Professor Robert Wood, spent seven years on the project with the backing of the US military.

“The real benefit of the fly is that from a military aspect, you probably wouldn’t be able to notice it,” said Prof Wood.

Sky News has some more info about the Flybot

MQ9 Reaper – Predator UAV – Iraqi Drone of Death

The MQ9 Reaper
Manufacturer: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
–An altitude, endurance, and long-range upgrade to the original Predator UAV

First MQ 9 Reaper at Creech AFB 2007Imagine coming home from a hard day’s work, relaxing on the couch, and busting out your XBOX 360. Instead of playing a video game, you decide it would be nice to unwind while thinking to yourself…”ten seconds to impact”, then witnessing the full-color obliteration of an opportunistic target in Iraq. While this situation is not entirely accurate, it is very close to what US Air Force pilots of tomorrow will be doing on a daily basis as they command the new squadron of MQ9 Reapers set to arrive in Iraq. Controlled–piloted–from a base in Nevada, remote-control airplanes with laser-guided bombs and hellfire missiles attached to them will be raining death from above on anything that might look out of place. In fact, it seems like all the hoopla about the Democratically supported troop “pull out” seems more or less like this–human army out, robot army in. About 60 MQ9s have been ordered by the air force, and they will be flying out of the largest US Air Force base in Iraq, Balad Air Base just outside of Baghdad. Likewise, Balad has begun construction of a 400,000 sq. ft. expansion of the runway to accommodate the staging of the new Reapers. Ultimately, the MQ9 Reaper represents the culmination of about 20 years of R&D, mostly carried out by engineering students working at our nations best research universities. From MIT to Georgia Tech, probably millions of man-hours from our brightest aeronautical, electrical, and mechanical engineering students seeking their doctorates have been, and likely unknowingly, contributing to the final product that represents the forefront of a futuristic military comprised of hunter-killer robots and aircraft. As long as they are used to dominate the world, then I guess that no time has been wasted, not even by reading this article. Have a nice day, and never forget that our people are the most valuable asset we have in America.

See this broadcast by the Air Force on their UAV programs.
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Also check out another MQ9 Reaper post by Joe.

Hunter UAV Airstrike – Viper Air Attack on Vehicle

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)

Viper Strike
The Viper is a standoff munition guided by GPS and laser-guidance. The Viper is primarily used in missions that require a flexible angle of attack, either steep or shallow. The weapon is produced by Northrop Grumann’s Land Combat Systems Facility in Alabama. This particular Viper Standoff munition requires a man to lase the target either from the UAV itself where the missile is fired from, or from the ground. The Viper is similar to the Hellfire missile used in the Predator UAV by the US air-force. The Vipers warhead is smaller than the Hellfires and the Vipers platform is the Hunter RQ-5A UAV. The Hunter is similar to the predator although its functionality is more limited.

Hunter UAV airstrike with Viper Munition
Check out an awesome Video Here, Please allow time to load as the video is somewhat large

The MQ-5CE-Hunter has been developed for longer endurance and higher-altitude missions.

Hunter 1

The Viper Munition is being tested with a variety of different platforms including AC-130 Gunships and even the notorious Predator. The video below shows the incredible power of the Viper in Combination with the Hunter UAV.

Global Hawk UAV – RQ-4A Block 20 Global Hawk Aircraft

The Global Hawk is a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) recconnasaince aircraft UAV, and the most capable one in the world according to many experts. The newest rollout of the Global Hawk is the Block 20, which is the 17th Global Hawk to be designed. The Global Hawk has logged thousands of flight hours; bringing the United States Military incredible information and High-Res imagery. According to Northrop Grumman:

Although this represented only 3 percent of all the air-based image collection missions flown during the war, Global Hawk generated approximately 55 percent of all time-critical data on air defense targets. The sole Global Hawk in theater located at least 13 surface-to-air missile batteries, 50 SAM launchers, 300 canisters and 70 missile transporters; it also imaged 300 tanks, 38 percent of Iraq’s armored force – a remarkable display of the vehicle’s capability

global hawk

Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems supplies the Global Hawk Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) which includes Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), electro-optical, and infrared sensors. The Global Hawk’s Sythetic Aperture Radar (SAR) can penetrate cloud cover, and even sandstorms. All of the advanced avionics systems can operate simultaneously with one another giving the Global Hawk the ability to find SAM’s, tanks, and a variety of other military equipment. The Global Hawk UAV can survey for up to 40,000 square miles a day! This UAV can stay in the air for up to 42 hourse with a nautical range of 14,000 miles. In fact, the Global Hawk was the first pilotless or unmanned aerial vehicle to cross the Pacific Ocean in 2001.

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The Raytheon ground station receives the high resolution images taken by the UAV sensor suite. The ground station forwards the images to the military commanders and soldiers in the field.

Specifications of the Global Hawk Block 20 / Block 30

  1. Wingspan: 130.9 ft (39.9 m)
  2. Length: 47.6 ft (14.5 m)
  3. Height: 15.3 ft (4.7 m)
  4. Gross Take-off Weight: 32,250 lbs (14,628 kg)
  5. Payload: 3,000 lbs (1,360 kg)
  6. Ferry Range: 12,300 nm (22,780 km)
  7. Maximum Altitude: More than 60,000 ft (18.3 km)
  8. Loiter Velocity: 310 knots TAS
  9. On-Station Endurance at 1,200 nm: 24 Hours
  10. Maximum Endurance: 36 Hours


  1. Synthetic Aperture Radar: 1.0/0.3 M Resolution (WAS/Spot)
  2. Electro-Optical: NIIRS 6.0/6.5 (WAS/Spot)
  3. Infrared: NIIRS 5.0/5.5 (WAS/Spot)

MQ9 Reaper UAV – Predator on Steroids, the REAPER Aircraft

Manufacturer: General Atomics – a subsidiary of General Dynamics [NYSE: GD]

The photo shows the Hunter-Killer UAVReaper which is basically a predator on steroids. Fully loaded, this unmanned air vehicle can take out a small country’s defenses before the rest of the crew move in. The Reaper UAV used to be known as the Predator 2 or Predator B. predator loadedThe armament of the UAV which has a maximum ceiling of 50,000 ft include Hellfire missiles and laser guided bombs. In fact, this beast can carry over 14 Hellfire Missiles compared to 2 on the original predator. The Reaper can also remain airborne for up to 14 flight hours. Basically, the original Predator provided a testbed for this UAV technology. Once it was proven that a Predator could accurately fire hellfire missiles, it was decided that a larger version should be produced that would increase the UAV capabilities. At about the same size as an A-10 Thunderbolt, the Reaper is almost twice the size as the orginial Predator. Likewise, high-altitude and long-endurance features were added such as de-icers for the wings and a more powerful turboprop. Basically, this thing is the wave of the future.