Military Hardware, Gear and Equipment => Aerial Equipment => Topic started by: Rattler on 20 July 2010, 20:31:22



Title: Expensive Photo Recon
Post by: Rattler on 20 July 2010, 20:31:22
I had no idea how expensive it is to get a B-1 over Afghanistan.

According to Danger Room (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/how-to-get-a-new-air-force-without-going-broke/) every sortie costs $720,000 in fuel, repair, and other costs. And when the plane comes back, it has to spend 48 hours being repaired for every hour it was in the air.

As the B-1s at the moment only take recon pictures over Afghanistan due to the air strike restrictions imposed it has dawned the Air Force that there could be cheaper ways to optain this IMINTT, e.g. through unmannded drones.

Even if stealth should be a problem (a drone atm is more or less a sitting duck: Loud, slow, visible, and vulnerable to anything better than a gun) there is light at the end of the tunnel: Next generation drones will be kind of stealthy:

Last year the Avenger, a prototype of this new generation drones, made its first flight (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/AVENGER041709.xml&headline=Predator%20C%20Avenger%20Makes%20First%20Flights&channel=defense).

The General Atomics Avenger (formerly Predator C) is a developmental UCAV built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the United States military. Unlike the previous MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) drones, the Avenger is powered by a jet engine, and its design includes stealth features such as internal weapons storage, and an "S" shaped exhaust for reduced heat and radar signature.

(http://planetagadget.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/predator-c-avenger-5.jpg)

The way to go, methinks.

Rattler




Title: Re: Expensive Photo Recon
Post by: the_13th_redneck on 21 July 2010, 01:01:58
Absolutely the way to go.
War is getting far too expensive and although this is not the only factor, it certainly one of the major ones.