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Article on Slate about the prevalence of drone aircraft and their expanded use in the post-Iraq world: http://www.slate.com/id/2196329/

Thoughts, comments, concerns?

I am particularly interested in what former military men think about the usefulness of these aircraft.
 

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Drones are useful against an enemy who is not very sophisticated technologically. You try to use a drone against an enemy with modern radars and missiles and you'll lose alot of drones quickly.
 

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Not to mention the ones lost to data-link jamming, or worse hacked and taken over and sent back to point of origin to attack it.
 

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Drones are useful against an enemy who is not very sophisticated technologically. You try to use a drone against an enemy with modern radars and missiles and you'll lose alot of drones quickly.
Not sure where I read this, but its a seemingly workable concept for how to use drones against more sophisicated opponents. I would guess it was TheRegister after a military expo so don't trust my sources. Please tear this apart if its wrong as I am no expert and I would like to learn something.

Anyhow, the concept was you had a lot of drones. Enough to either make the enemy think you were throwing most of your assets at them or (heres the clever bit) simply overload their ability to track targets, aim air-ground, and dispatch responders. Mixed within those drones would be more standard aircraft with either near-drone radar profiles or some degree of stealth to weasel through.

The idea is that in sacrificing some number of drones you gain:
1) Some recon as some drones will simply make it in farther than you can usually go.
2) An indication of the location of air-ground installations
3) The ability to penetrate very deeply with real attacks while they're busy with the drones
4) Psychological advantages from being able to throw that much hardware in and cause all sorts of trouble.

Thoughts? Comments? Is this legit or just a good movie action sequence?
 

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In a battlefield environment against a modern enemy I doubt there's much room for anything but small cheap drones. Survivability concerns are what runs up the cost of modern tactical aircraft to $35 - $70 million each and those used against al Quaida and the Taliban in Pakistan are too expensive to be thrown away.

What we're doing is "Asymmetric warfare". They use terror attacks and IEDs because they can't face us on the battlefield. We use drones because we want to hit them in a foreign couuntry, without risking our personnel on a technically illegal battlefield, and they can't fight back against it.
 

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Not to mention the ones lost to data-link jamming, or worse hacked and taken over and sent back to point of origin to attack it.
Clyde,

Easier said than done meine freund;) I saw some major leaps in technological advancements (i.e., secure transmission/COMPUSEC) during my last few years of the Chair Force. One that I can mention is that the military's network/intranet will be totally fiber in the next few years. Simply, fiber optic cables will connect workstations to the network verses the current LAN cables with RJ45 connectors. Also, the Hair Farce has been using secure data links for decades...the Rekkie Birds with their SLARs come to mind...and my tour at Tempelhof AB many years ago gave me insight into the world of crypto electronics and its capabilities:D
 

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Oh yeah, it won't be easy - but the incentive is there and drones depend on broadcast, no physical links (fiber-optic or whatever). If you can send data on the channel, somebody can hack it and take control of it or (easier) jam it. Gonna be an electronic war, and trust me - in a fight with somebody major, some of that will happen. of course, we'll do it to the other side too...
 

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I'd would certainly imagine...got to justify the exorbitant cost for these jets:D
Looks like an E-6 (J-STARS), right? Given what they seem to be able to provide in battlefield surveillance and such, I'm not entirely sure the price is exorbitant. But they sure ain't cheap...
 

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Let's not ignore the psychological toll being wreaked on the brave pilots suffering PTSD deep in the bunkers of Arizona.

Other than that, they're just another pretty cool asset.

Years ago one of my profs opined the last fighter pilot will be a short woman with high blood pressure.
 

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Looks like an E-6 (J-STARS), right? Given what they seem to be able to provide in battlefield surveillance and such, I'm not entirely sure the price is exorbitant. But they sure ain't cheap...
Snoop - RC-135. ;) They're expensive because of their internal and external equipment...I know a tad sumptin about them...in a roundabout way:D
 
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