Imagine 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.
Also check out another MQ9 Reaper post by Joe.