Skynet called and said quote “All your tanks are belong to us”.
One of the current US Military drones is manufactured by a company with a name very fitting for this site. The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is the realization of Skynet for the modern age. Although it’s not self aware yet it is a fully armed unmanned weapons platform. The Reaper uses a 900 horsepower turboprop to give the aircraft a 14 hour endurance fully loaded with armament. Keep in mind this is by using the inner two hard points for external fuel tanks still that’s a rather respectable range at a 220mph cruising speed. With six hard points available the Reaper can carry 14 missiles fully loaded. At 54 million dollars each it may not seem like the most economical way of delivering these. Still what is the cost of keeping Americans out of harms way while still looking good doing it?
Like all modern drones they are controlled by Air Force pilots sitting near Las Vegas fighting the long range war from the comforts of home. Below you will see a short two minute video from CNN that includes a couple points of interest. First around one minute is a Reaper using a 500 pound bomb to take out two insurgents on a motorcycle. Second is a Reaper using a Hellfire to knock out four suspected terrorists.
Since World War II the US Air Force has been trying to fight the air wars without pilots. Even back in the late 40’s they were launching pilot-less drones after enemy bombers. The goal was to put no men in harms way. This is the future of warfare whether we welcome it with open arms or not.
[image credit for all images – Wikipedia.org]