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RQ-1 Predator

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  • RQ-1 Predator

    I was just reading this in Time. Very cool, but man is this plane ugly.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...137653,00.html
    In Part:

    "...Rogers, an Air Force major and experienced fighter pilot, is part of an Úlite group of U.S. troops playing a crucial role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the U.S.'s most notorious playground. From Nellis Air Force Base, outside Las Vegas, Rogers controls a Predator, a flimsy drone that has been transformed from a spy plane into one of the wars' most lethal weapons. Predators played a key part in catching Saddam Hussein and have killed al-Qaeda suspects in Pakistan and Yemen. In September a Predator tracked 11 insurgents who had attacked a U.S. base in Iraq, then killed them as they fled.

    What makes the Predator mission--and Rogers' job--so unusual is the 7,000 miles between pilot and plane. Basing the crew members at home rather than at the front keeps them out of harm's way and saves the military money. Still, "for us, it's combat," says Rogers, 34, who has been deployed to battle zones twice, most recently Iraq this summer. "Physically, we may be in Vegas, but mentally, we're flying over Iraq. It feels real."...

    ...The Predator is an unlikely star. In military terms, it is an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV. It was first flown a decade ago and for years was armed with only an unsophisticated camera for intelligence gathering. After the fall of 2000, when Osama bin Laden was spotted in Afghanistan by an unarmed Predator, the U.S. government sped up a program to fit each aircraft with two Hellfire missiles. Awesome sounding but benign looking, the 27-ft.-long Predator is painted a dull gray and shaped like an upside-down spoon with wings. The drone is made of lightweight composite plastic and metal and has a tiny, propeller-driven engine--adapted from a snowmobile's--with a decidedly unimpressive top speed of only 150 m.p.h. Rogers' previous craft, the supersonic F-15 jet fighter, can fly up to 900 m.p.h....

    ...The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have proved the worth of unmanned aircraft--which are cheaper and, because there is no pilot to be shot down, politically more palatable than traditional airplanes. The thousand-plus UAVs in the military's arsenal range from tiny craft that can fit in a soldier's palm to ones the size of business jets. Military analysts are predicting that within two decades, UAVs may even take over the jobs of pilots flying fighter jets. It makes economic sense; the $4 million Predator is a bargain compared with the Air Force's newest fighter, the $354 million F-22.

    The effectiveness of the Predator in war zones, however, has translated into stresses in an unlikely place: back home. The operational tempo puts intense pressure on the small group of men and women who deliver death from a distance. The 180-person Nellis unit runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no holidays. The unit has logged more flight hours than any other squadron in the Air Force yet is only 65% staffed. Crew members are so tightly scheduled that when on duty, they have to ask permission to go to the bathroom and cannot leave their chairs unless there is someone to replace them. The troops call the Predator compound Shawshank because it reminds them of a prison. The schedule demands that the men and women change shifts--days, evenings and overnights--every three weeks, which makes fitting into normal civilian life off base nearly impossible. Morale, say many crew members, is suffering. Crew members are experiencing more problems in their personal lives, including separation and divorce....

    ...Rogers says he feels pulled in two directions, between spending more time helping with the war effort and being an integral part of his family. He rushes home after his day shift to jump in the pool with his kids. "At least I get to sleep in my own bed," says Rogers. But he says being deployed in Iraq was easier because he was isolated from the daily errands and the emotional demands of family life. His wife Laura feels differently about his being home. "It takes the edge off being a pilot's wife," she says, "that at least I know I won't be getting that phone call in the middle of the night telling me my husband has been shot down."
    Attached Files
    "To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are."-Sholem Asch

    "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."-Earl Warren

    "I didn't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs."-Nancy Reagan, when asked a political question at a "Just Say No" rally

    "He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."-Earl Butz, on the Pope's attitude toward birth control

  • #2
    The Predator Drone isint the best looking grant you but she was beautiful in the way she performed while removing al-Qaida #3 from this very planet.

    Im impressed THL with your choice on this military topic.
    I can see why TH is drawn to you
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dreadnought

      Im impressed THL with your choice on this military topic.
      I can see why TH is drawn to you
      This is a recent emergence, at least from my POV.
      At first I was drawn to fact that she was completely unpredictable.....predictably so :)


      Another great thing about Predator is that the enemy can shoot them down by the bushel basket.

      They'll NEVER be able to kill or capture the pilot.
      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TopHatter
        This is a recent emergence, at least from my POV.
        At first I was drawn to fact that she was completely unpredictable.....predictably so :)


        Another great thing about Predator is that the enemy can shoot them down by the bushel basket.

        They'll NEVER be able to kill or capture the pilot.
        They should be booby trapped in case one was shot down or capable of a radio controlled self destruction ;)
        Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dreadnought
          They should be booby trapped in case one was shot down or capable of a radio controlled self destruction ;)
          Probably capable of radio self destruct.
          Bad PR to booby-trap US equipment. Better to destroy it immediately if recovery is impossible.
          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TopHatter
            Probably capable of radio self destruct.
            Bad PR to booby-trap US equipment. Better to destroy it immediately if recovery is impossible.
            I agree I just didnt know if they had self destruction capability. I misused the word booby trap stupidly knowing what has happened with such devices in conflict where the innocent are concerned.
            Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

            Comment


            • #7
              And incase of war or active patrol, if its shot down, the area would be bombed to nowhere for sure atleast thats what happened before.
              A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun of Adam !!

              Comment

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