F16 drone.

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by AAF, Sep 25, 2013.

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  1. AAF

    AAF War Hero

  2. Nothing that wasn't done from Tarrant Hinton using Sea Vixens in the good old days, (circa 1960's/70's). Now technology has moved on I suppose it's a more viable proposition!!! (Affordable)
  3. Yup, they used one of those mothballed airframes from AZ. And they took it supersonic. They have six cabs apparently (QF-16), soon to start weapon trials, but I dont know if they are the target or shooter....
    Now at least the seat is as empty as the pilots head.....
  4. Since when were F-16's part of the FAA ?
  5. He might simply be suggesting how backward our Septic allies are when we had FAA types whizzing round 40 years ago with empty seats. Even before that, Meteor U15s and U16s were performing Fleet target details in the Cardigan Bay weapons range.
  6. Err, the USAAF first deployed radio controlled/optionally manned targets in 1946 when a small number of F-80s were converted to QF-80 standard so they weren't that far behind us!

  7. This is just the start, what with this & the X47B program it would seem drones are the realistic way forward for both land & carrier based fast jets.

    Rumour has it that they're testing the F22 raptor with the same system.

    In reality why spend zillions on aircrew training & safety when "robby the robot" can do it 24/7/365 at little cost?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  8. Pretty logical to assume that drone jets/aircraft will play a bigger part in the overall scheme as time goes by, plus allow for tolerances that the human body just cannot cope with. This prospect alone has been the subject of a lot of discussion.
  9. And there'll still be a requirement for handlers. Someone has to clean the dead flies off the camera lens and then put them to bed (the drones, not the flies) ;)
  10. I remember being in Kandahar and watching predator UAV's being marshalled. So yes we will need maintainers to do the job only the flight deck gods can do at sea! :)

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  11. They've long reckoned that most of the expense in military aircraft comes from accommodating the biological material in the cockpit and keeping it alive. Get rid of that and aircraft can be smaller, more agile, pull many more Gs and carry more payload. Win, win, win. Not sure if its true but there is a rumour that they have to put restrictions on what the Typhoon can do cos without them the pilot could do manoeuvres which would kill him.

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  12. There, fixed that for you.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. The thing about drones....is they do go on....and on....
    • Like Like x 3
  14. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    ...hence why the RAF love them so much? :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  15. RPAS, UAS, UAV, drones, whatever you want to call them. They have their benefits. However, the biggest danger is the 'drone lemmings', most of whom have never seen the limitations and many of whom view them as a panacea.

    They aren't.

    • Like Like x 1
  16. As I see it, offensive UAVs will be great for going against the 3rd Eleven. Put them up against the 1st Eleven who might just be able to jam the RF data link or the local GPS/GLONASS/Whatever signal and watch the sudden capability gap open.
  17. They might be okay for ground attack but I would put a lot of money on them being pretty useless in the air combat arena. I agree they don't have the limitations of human physiology and can therefore pull a lot more 'g' but in the three dimensions that are involved with 'dogfights' the UAV operator wouldn't stand a chance against a manned aircraft in building and maintaining situational awareness. The pro brigade will doubtless argue that BVR missiles are the way of the future and close combat is a thing of the past; unfortunately those are the same type of people that said the RAF could rule the world with surface to air missiles and that fighter aircraft don't need guns :roll:
    • Like Like x 2
  18. BVR Missiles?

    Can you explain please. Not familiar with the abbreviation!!
  19. BVR=beyond visual range. Something like the AMRAAM where you can fire the thing at Johnny Bad Guy based on a radar (or similar) firing solution, without ever seeing him.

    This is all well and good in theory but it is still possible to defeat these missiles and so you have to continue into the fight until you've confirmed a kill. If he does defeat the BVR missile then now you're likely to be into the visual scenario, shortly followed by the knife fight in a phone box (or air combat as some prefer to call it). I reckon I could win a LOT of money betting on me versus a UAV in a dogfight :)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Beyond Visual Range

    BVR (and dependence on electronic wizardry) can also lead to blue-on-blue problems. This happened to the RN in the Falklands - and whilst not actually blue-on-blue, remember when the US Navy shot down an Iranian Airbus?

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