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ChiefaRoo
07-15-2007, 05:42 PM
We may bring some of our guys home but were not going anywhere in Afghanistan or Iraq.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070715/D8QD61V80.html
By CHARLES J. HANLEY

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) - The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It's outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there's no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

The arrival of these outsized U.S. "hunter-killer" drones, in aviation history's first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.

That moment, one the Air Force will likely low-key, is expected "soon," says the regional U.S. air commander. How soon? "We're still working that," Lt. Gen. Gary North said in an interview.



The Reaper's first combat deployment is expected in Afghanistan, and senior Air Force officers estimate it will land in Iraq sometime between this fall and next spring. They look forward to it.

"With more Reapers, I could send manned airplanes home," North said.

The Associated Press has learned that the Air Force is building a 400,000-square-foot expansion of the concrete ramp area now used for Predator drones here at Balad, the biggest U.S. air base in Iraq, 50 miles north of Baghdad. That new staging area could be turned over to Reapers.

It's another sign that the Air Force is planning for an extended stay in Iraq, supporting Iraqi government forces in any continuing conflict, even if U.S. ground troops are drawn down in the coming years.

The estimated two dozen or more unmanned MQ-1 Predators now doing surveillance over Iraq, as the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, have become mainstays of the U.S. war effort, offering round-the-clock airborne "eyes" watching over road convoys, tracking nighttime insurgent movements via infrared sensors, and occasionally unleashing one of their two Hellfire missiles on a target.

From about 36,000 flying hours in 2005, the Predators are expected to log 66,000 hours this year over Iraq and Afghanistan.

The MQ-9 Reaper, when compared with the 1995-vintage Predator, represents a major evolution of the unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV.

At five tons gross weight, the Reaper is four times heavier than the Predator. Its size - 36 feet long, with a 66-foot wingspan - is comparable to the profile of the Air Force's workhorse A-10 attack plane. It can fly twice as fast and twice as high as the Predator. Most significantly, it carries many more weapons.

While the Predator is armed with two Hellfire missiles, the Reaper can carry 14 of the air-to-ground weapons - or four Hellfires and two 500-pound bombs.

"It's not a recon squadron," Col. Joe Guasella, operations chief for the Central Command's air component, said of the Reapers. "It's an attack squadron, with a lot more kinetic ability."

"Kinetic" - Pentagon argot for destructive power - is what the Air Force had in mind when it christened its newest robot plane with a name associated with death.

"The name Reaper captures the lethal nature of this new weapon system," Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force chief of staff, said in announcing the name last September.

General Atomics of San Diego has built at least nine of the MQ-9s thus far, at a cost of $69 million per set of four aircraft, with ground equipment.

The Air Force's 432nd Wing, a UAV unit formally established on May 1, is to eventually fly 60 Reapers and 160 Predators. The numbers to be assigned to Iraq and Afghanistan will be classified.

The Reaper is expected to be flown as the Predator is - by a two-member team of pilot and sensor operator who work at computer control stations and video screens that display what the UAV "sees." Teams at Balad, housed in a hangar beside the runways, perform the takeoffs and landings, and similar teams at Nevada's Creech Air Force Base, linked to the aircraft via satellite, take over for the long hours of overflying the Iraqi landscape.

American ground troops, equipped with laptops that can download real-time video from UAVs overhead, "want more and more of it," said Maj. Chris Snodgrass, the Predator squadron commander here.

The Reaper's speed will help. "Our problem is speed," Snodgrass said of the 140-mph Predator. "If there are troops in contact, we may not get there fast enough. The Reaper will be faster and fly farther."

The new robot plane is expected to be able to stay aloft for 14 hours fully armed, watching an area and waiting for targets to emerge.

"It's going to bring us flexibility, range, speed and persistence," said regional commander North, "such that I will be able to work lots of areas for a long, long time."

The British also are impressed with the Reaper, and are buying three for deployment in Afghanistan later this year. The Royal Air Force version will stick to the "recon" mission, however - no weapons on board.

Logical
07-15-2007, 09:35 PM
Please explain to me how an unmanned drone will help in hunting down people it cannot see?

ChiefaRoo
07-16-2007, 03:09 AM
One predator drone can patrol an entire valley with infrared, night vision cameras and regular cameras. They can be armed with only two hellfire missiles but It can linger on station for up to 14 hours flying high yet slow so the bad guys can't hear it. When they pop their heads out of the caves they get followed and/or blown away when the nearby Reapers are called in. The Predators could be put up dozens at a time and the Reapers with their heavier firepower and superior speed can be put up in lesser numbers and then be tasked to take out the bad guys all the way from the USA via the Southern Command in Tampa. No risk to American pilots, plenty of time to make sure the target is a bunch of bad guys. In summary we could saturate large regions of the mountaineous terrain in Afghanistan and Pakistan (if the Pakis give us a wink and a nod to do so) and we could do some serious damage to AQ when they poke their heads out. Even if we followed them into a cave system it would give the Air Force the ability to but Thermobaric bombs into the caves. FYI, Thermobaric bombs create a pressure wave and heat wave that penetrates throughout the cave tunnel network. If the pressure wake doesn't cave in your face and chest the heat will cook you like a turkey in an oven. If smaller weapons are needed to kill in a limited space within a village smaller smart weapons can be put on target which will take out a safe house without destroying the houses around it. Some civilians may still get killed but now were talking about a wide variety of options given to our military commanders back in the USA. Good stuff as it will make out in the open bases sitting ducks for our new drones.

trndobrd
07-16-2007, 11:56 AM
Please explain to me how an unmanned drone will help in hunting down people it cannot see?

Unless AQ has developed some sort of invisibility cloak, they are visible. It is a question of when and where. If there is a jet screaming down a valley or helicopter in the area, they are going to go to ground and hide until the jet or helicopter leaves the area. If they don't know it is there, they will continue with their normal activities.

Think of it another way. It is the difference between having a police officer walking up to the house of a suspected drug dealer, looking around and walking away, versus having a hidden camera on the house 24 hours a day for three weeks.

pikesome
07-16-2007, 11:59 AM
Unless AQ has developed some sort of invisibility cloak, they are visible. It is a question of when and where. If there is a jet screaming down a valley or helicopter in the area, they are going to go to ground and hide until the jet or helicopter leaves the area. If they don't know it is there, they will continue with their normal activities.

Think of it another way. It is the difference between having a police officer walking up to the house of a suspected drug dealer, looking around and walking away, versus having a hidden camera on the house 24 hours a day for three weeks.

A hidden camera with JDAMs and Stingers.

ChiefaRoo
07-16-2007, 02:38 PM
Linger longer with bigger stinger. I like it!

Logical
07-16-2007, 02:44 PM
Unless AQ has developed some sort of invisibility cloak, they are visible. It is a question of when and where. If there is a jet screaming down a valley or helicopter in the area, they are going to go to ground and hide until the jet or helicopter leaves the area. If they don't know it is there, they will continue with their normal activities.

Think of it another way. It is the difference between having a police officer walking up to the house of a suspected drug dealer, looking around and walking away, versus having a hidden camera on the house 24 hours a day for three weeks.

Not a valid analogy, in that there 1000s of square miles to monitor and they cannot all be monitored constantly with the drones.

trndobrd
07-16-2007, 03:34 PM
Not a valid analogy, in that there 1000s of square miles to monitor and they cannot all be monitored constantly with the drones.


It's a perfectly valid analogy. AQ is known to use routes, staging areas, safe houses, etc. just the same way the police believe certain individuals are manufacturing meth in their homes, some hotels are used for prostitution, and specific street corners are used for selling drugs.

Instead of sending a patrol through a group of farms to check for AQ, then leaving, or having an aircraft patrol a suspected transportation route for a couple hours, these areas can be monitored for days and weeks on end.

It is not a tool to just fly around in Western Iraq to see if anyone is out in the desert.

Cochise
07-16-2007, 03:40 PM
Who knew, Logical doesn't think it will work.

This place is more predictable than the sunrise.

trndobrd
07-16-2007, 04:57 PM
Who knew, Logical doesn't think it will work.

This place is more predictable than the sunrise.

Logical
07-16-2007, 05:45 PM
It's a perfectly valid analogy. AQ is known to use routes, staging areas, safe houses, etc. just the same way the police believe certain individuals are manufacturing meth in their homes, some hotels are used for prostitution, and specific street corners are used for selling drugs.

Instead of sending a patrol through a group of farms to check for AQ, then leaving, or having an aircraft patrol a suspected transportation route for a couple hours, these areas can be monitored for days and weeks on end.

It is not a tool to just fly around in Western Iraq to see if anyone is out in the desert.

If we know where the routes, safe houses, and staging areas are satellite surveilance can already monitor then and the drones would not be neccessary. Drone monitoring is not nearly as cost effective as satellite surveilance.

KC Dan
07-16-2007, 05:46 PM
If we know where the routes, safe houses, and staging areas are satellite surveilance can already monitor then and the drones would not be neccessary. Drone monitoring is not nearly as cost effective as satellite surveilance.
Yeah, but the accuracy on those satellite dropped bombs ain't too good...

trndobrd
07-16-2007, 05:53 PM
If we know where the routes, safe houses, and staging areas are satellite surveilance can already monitor then and the drones would not be neccessary. Drone monitoring is not nearly as cost effective as satellite surveilance.


Huh?

To my knowledge, although I don't claim any special expertise, satellites cannot quickly move their scan from one area to another, or even a quick look at another side of a hill. For instance, if an informant says that AQ operatives are moving explosives to an abandoned warehouse, UAVs have the ability to quickly get in location and stay there.

Oh, and satellites can't shoot missiles when they do find three guys unloading mortar tubes out of a pickup.

Logical
07-16-2007, 06:00 PM
Huh?

To my knowledge, although I don't claim any special expertise, satellites cannot quickly move their scan from one area to another, or even a quick look at another side of a hill. For instance, if an informant says that AQ operatives are moving explosives to an abandoned warehouse, UAVs have the ability to quickly get in location and stay there.

Oh, and satellites can't shoot missiles when they do find three guys unloading mortar tubes out of a pickup.

I am talking surveilance and not action. I think anyone will admit the drones mark an advancement in the ability to take military action. I still don't believe they will be a significant help in monitoring activity. Satellites can be reprogrogrammed to change their monitoring areas in mere minutes, while it would take much longer to launch a drone and then get it moved into an effective position for monitoring. Again I think the real issue is we don't possess and are not obtaining the intelligence on where the routes, safe houses, and staging areas are at.

CHIEF4EVER
07-16-2007, 06:03 PM
General Atomics of San Diego has built at least nine of the MQ-9s thus far, at a cost of $69 million per set of four aircraft, with ground equipment.



Holy cow, $69 million a pop. So how much trouble do you think the Tech will be in if he screws up and crashes one on landing?

Logical
07-16-2007, 06:15 PM
Holy cow, $69 million a pop. So how much trouble do you think the Tech will be in if he screws up and crashes one on landing?

This is just another issue, they are a great tool but they will have to be used prudently.

Adept Havelock
07-16-2007, 06:16 PM
Holy cow, $69 million a pop. So how much trouble do you think the Tech will be in if he screws up and crashes one on landing?


I hope he uses the "auto-landing" feature. I still plant regularly enough on the Carrier Deck in Battlestations:Midway it's a staple for me.

I'm sure his training is better than that provided by the folks at Team Eidos.

pikesome
07-16-2007, 06:36 PM
Satellites can be reprogrogrammed to change their monitoring areas in mere minutes

Not all of them and even if you can there are limits to how long you get overhead. Also the side view that sats get makes interpretation harder. If you want to follow a vehicle overland in the back forty, these are ideal. The loiter times are also much, much better.

go bowe
07-16-2007, 10:08 PM
who are you trying to kid?

jack bower (sp?) doesn't need any help...

he can fly one himself and crush aq in iraq with a squadron of uav's...

then on to afghanistan...

ChiefaRoo
07-17-2007, 04:55 AM
Holy cow, $69 million a pop. So how much trouble do you think the Tech will be in if he screws up and crashes one on landing?

$69M for a set of four planes and their control systems with no risk to pilots. Pretty cheap in comparison to a fighter jet.

We should be able to put hundreds of these things up and blanket entire areas. I'd be curious to know the swath a predator can patrol. Satellites by comparison only have a keyhole view and to retask them is extremely expensive and uses up the limited amount of fuel on board. If you move them too much you run out and they're stuck in that position permanently. These drones can identify and kill or if a bigger bang is needed a Reaper can now be brought in with bigger weapons and they fly much faster. This is a powerful new tool in the mountainous regions in that part of the world.

go bowe
07-17-2007, 11:24 AM
i think i saw some reports awhile back...

that described how difficult it is to maneuver helicopters at the higher altitudes in the pakistani/iraq mountain ranges...

i hope the drones (particulary the newer, bigger ones) will not be as affected by extremely high altitudes...

pikesome
07-17-2007, 11:49 AM
i think i saw some reports awhile back...

that described how difficult it is to maneuver helicopters at the higher altitudes in the pakistani/iraq mountain ranges...

i hope the drones (particulary the newer, bigger ones) will not be as affected by extremely high altitudes...

It might not be as much an issue. I don't know how hard it is to nail a Reaper with a SAM, shoulder launched or not, but it's got to be harder than a helicopter. That ought to let the UAVs fly lower off the ground than piloted aircraft.

ChiefaRoo
07-17-2007, 02:58 PM
i think i saw some reports awhile back...

that described how difficult it is to maneuver helicopters at the higher altitudes in the pakistani/iraq mountain ranges...

i hope the drones (particulary the newer, bigger ones) will not be as affected by extremely high altitudes...


You can only get so much lift from a Helo rotor because the air gets too thin and helos are limited in size due to physics. With Aircraft the wing can be made longer and thinner for greater lift at altitude. Plus these drones aren't carrying people which means much less weight and more fuel and weapons.

Logical
07-17-2007, 06:16 PM
$69M for a set of four planes and their control systems with no risk to pilots. Pretty cheap in comparison to a fighter jet.

We should be able to put hundreds of these things up and blanket entire areas. I'd be curious to know the swath a predator can patrol. Satellites by comparison only have a keyhole view and to retask them is extremely expensive and uses up the limited amount of fuel on board. If you move them too much you run out and they're stuck in that position permanently. These drones can identify and kill or if a bigger bang is needed a Reaper can now be brought in with bigger weapons and they fly much faster. This is a powerful new tool in the mountainous regions in that part of the world.

First let me say your point about the limited satellite fuel is a good point. Your keyhole view statement I don't understand.

ChiefaRoo
07-17-2007, 06:37 PM
First let me say your point about the limited satellite fuel is a good point. Your keyhole view statement I don't understand.

The Sats. orbit the planet or are in a stationary spot in space. Either way they only have limited viewing time over a target since they are moving. If they are stationary the rotation of the Earth keeps the ground moving beneath the camera.

penchief
07-17-2007, 07:01 PM
Linger longer with bigger stinger. I like it!

You seem so easily amused.

ChiefaRoo
07-18-2007, 02:31 AM
You seem so easily amused.

I like the idea of smoking bad guys before they get us. I guess I have a strong sense of self preservation.

pikesome
07-18-2007, 08:19 AM
I like the idea of smoking bad guys before they get us. I guess I have a strong sense of self preservation.

Or dislike of bad guys. Either one works for me.

Velvet_Jones
07-18-2007, 09:25 AM
I think the glass is too big; not half empty or half full.

go bowe
07-18-2007, 12:21 PM
i wonder if we can borrow a few of these reapers and patrol the u.s./mexican border with them...

of course the missle strikes might weaken a fence or a wall...

and the chorus of outrage will be loud and clear...

it's ok to bomb people in iraq, but not ok to bomb mexicans trying to enter illegally...

what is the world coming to? :shrug:

ChiefaRoo
07-18-2007, 11:59 PM
i wonder if we can borrow a few of these reapers and patrol the u.s./mexican border with them...

of course the missle strikes might weaken a fence or a wall...

and the chorus of outrage will be loud and clear...

it's ok to bomb people in iraq, but not ok to bomb mexicans trying to enter illegally...

what is the world coming to? :shrug:

The good thing about the US Mexican border is all we need is a good multi-layered fence, enforcement of our existing laws and enough guys with 9MM's, Thermal night vision, trucks and holding cells. It's relatively easy in comparison to fighting a war. If we'd finally crack down on businesses who are hiring illegals the problem would eventually solve itself. Who wants to vote for me?

Logical
07-19-2007, 12:14 AM
i wonder if we can borrow a few of these reapers and patrol the u.s./mexican border with them...

of course the missle strikes might weaken a fence or a wall...

and the chorus of outrage will be loud and clear...

it's ok to bomb people in iraq, but not ok to bomb mexicans trying to enter illegally...

what is the world coming to? :shrug:Now I like the idea of using these for border security much better than a wall. A fixed line is easy to monitor with overlapping drone coverage and it would eliminate the need for the stupid fence.

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 12:18 AM
Now I like the idea of using these for border security much better than a wall. A fixed line is easy to monitor with overlapping drone coverage and it would eliminate the need for the stupid fence.

Logical your all confused again. The Reaper has the capability to level a city block and gouge out a 10' crater. I think that's a bit of overkill considering we don't want to kill Jose and Maria we just want them to get in line and do it right.

Logical
07-19-2007, 12:29 AM
Logical your all confused again. The Reaper has the capability to level a city block and gouge out a 10' crater. I think that's a bit of overkill considering we don't want to kill Jose and Maria we just want them to get in line and do it right.

You develop a down scale drone for simply monitoring.

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 12:35 AM
You develop a down scale drone for simply monitoring.


You're still confused. We already have one, The Predator1 and it has been included in the bill to be used along with the damn fence. Now get off my internet!

Logical
07-19-2007, 01:11 AM
You're still confused. We already have one, The Predator1 and it has been included in the bill to be used along with the damn fence. Now get off my internet!

You get off the stupid waste of money for a fence concept and we will be on the same page.:D

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 01:20 AM
You get off the stupid waste of money for a fence concept and we will be on the same page.:D

I don't understand why you are against a fence in certain areas. It's relatively cheap and it works. What's the problem? Don't tell me about how the crappy little fences currently in use don't work. I'm talking about a multi-layered fences with motion sensors, properly monitored and backed up with good enforcement so coyotes can't run people across the border in trucks. We can use portable ground penetrating radar to find urban tunnels. I guarantee you it will work. If you don't believe me just stand up right now and run as fast as you can into a wall in your house. When you regain consciousness you'll know what I'm saying is true.

Logical
07-19-2007, 01:24 AM
I don't understand why you are against a fence in certain areas. It's relatively cheap and it works. What's the problem? Don't tell me about how the crappy little fences currently in use don't work. I'm talking about a multi-layered fences with motion sensors, properly monitored and backed up with good enforcement so coyotes can't run people across the border in trucks. We can use portable ground penetrating radar to find urban tunnels. I guarantee you it will work. If you don't believe me just stand up right now and run as fast as you can into a wall in your house. When you regain consciousness you'll know what I'm saying is true.
I am just realistic enough to know that a 2000+ mile fence is going to be easily breached in multiple locations and will be constantly being rebuilt only to have new breaches in other areas while we spend billions on it.

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 01:35 AM
I am just realistic enough to know that a 2000+ mile fence is going to be easily breached in multiple locations and will be constantly being rebuilt only to have new breaches in other areas while we spend billions on it.

Any wall could eventually be breached but that is not the point of the wall. The wall is there to dramatically slow down the free flow of illegals and to give time for the Border Patrol to act. It would take a lot of time, tools and logistics to go over, under or through a properly designed fence. Those resources and the time it would take to gather them would let the Predator drone you like so much to fly over and see what's up and we could send Border agents to stop the breach. It's not a perfect 100% solution but it would add real control to the situation. Once again if you don't believe me get some tools, a hammer, shovel etc. and try to breach the outer wall of your house. You can do it but it's going to take awhile and the neighbors are going to notice. Now... GET OFF MY INTERNET!

Logical
07-19-2007, 01:43 AM
Any wall could eventually be breached but that is not the point of the wall. The wall is there to dramatically slow down the free flow of illegals and to give time for the Border Patrol to act. It would take a lot of time, tools and logistics to go over, under or through a properly designed fence. Those resources and the time it would take to gather them would let the Predator drone you like so much to fly over and see what's up and we could send Border agents to stop the breach. It's not a perfect 100% solution but it would add real control to the situation. Once again if you don't believe me get some tools, a hammer, shovel etc. and try to breach the outer wall of your house. You can do it but it's going to take awhile and the neighbors are going to notice. Now... GET OFF MY INTERNET!

You know I have to respond to show it is not your internet. The fence is not a cost effective answer.

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 01:43 AM
I am just realistic enough to know that a 2000+ mile fence is going to be easily breached in multiple locations and will be constantly being rebuilt only to have new breaches in other areas while we spend billions on it.

One more thing. The topography of the Southern border does not require it to have 2,000 miles of fence so I'm not sure where your getting this number from unless your including the whole border. Some places have mountains and are so desolate no one could get through in any significant numbers. Have you ever driven through the desert Southwest? If your car broke down in the summer and you didn't have water your dead! No cell phone reception, no gas stations and if your on a side road a car goes by only about once every hour. We only need somewhere less than 1,000 miles of fence in key areas.

Logical
07-19-2007, 01:48 AM
One more thing. The topography of the Southern border does not require it to have 2,000 miles of fence so I'm not sure where your getting this number from unless your including the whole border. Some places have mountains and are so desolate no one could get through in any significant numbers. Have you ever driven through the desert Southwest? If your car broke down in the summer and you didn't have water your dead! No cell phone reception, no gas stations and if your on a side road a car goes by only about once every hour. We only need somewhere less than 1,000 miles of fence in key areas.LOL, you do know that a large percentage, maybe a majority of the illegals are brought across by the coyotes in that very desert you think will keep them from crossing.

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 01:56 AM
You know I have to respond to show it is not your internet. The fence is not a cost effective answer.

I'm declaring the D.C. Forum as my own personal domain with Kotter and Patteau as my Field Commanders. Pea can be the entertainment. Denise, Frankie, Taco and Jiz will be hunted and sent to a virtual Gitmo board built like the train station that Neo got trapped in in Matix Reloaded.

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 02:02 AM
LOL, you do know that a large percentage, maybe a majority of the illegals are brought across by the coyotes in that very desert you think will keep them from crossing.

I'm about through with your obtuse observations Log. The fences go where the flat parts of the desert are. Try digging a hole through the fence in 110 degree heat. You know I'm right just let it go.

Logical
07-19-2007, 02:13 AM
I'm about through with your obtuse observations Log. The fences go where the flat parts of the desert are. Try digging a hole through the fence in 110 degree heat. You know I'm right just let it go.I know it is easy as hell to breach a remote fence, whether it be over the top, under it, or cutting through it with a simple torch. The desert stretches for 100s of miles and cannot be continuously monitored for breach attempts, I tell you the fence is a total waste of money.

ChiefaRoo
07-19-2007, 02:14 AM
I know it is easy as hell to breach a remote fence, whether it be over the top, under it, or cutting through it with a simple torch. The desert stretches for 100s of miles and cannot be continuously monitored for breach attempts, I tell you the fence is a total waste of money.

OK, I'm through with you tonight. I just can't get you to use your mind.

Logical
07-19-2007, 02:45 AM
OK, I'm through with you tonight. I just can't get you to use your mind.No you refuse to face reality.