While drones used to be the exclusive responsibility of advanced military powers, almost any army can now afford cheap drones equipped with high-quality sensors and deadly weapons, thus changing any future conflict (
The proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, commonly known as drones) has brought about a radical change in the nation’s current warfare, until the discreet and precise use of deadly weapons, which provides greater results in terms of battlefield impact. While this technology is well known to those who use it on a daily basis, but does everyone fully understand the term “drone” and its significance?
The U.S. military has long been interested in the potential of remotely piloted aircraft. towards. During World War II, modified B-17 bombers were used during Operation Aphrodite, during which the aircraft took off with crew who eventually left the aircraft. The bomber was then radio-controlled by a subsequent B-17 crew, who, using on-board television cameras, directed the explosive-filled B-17 to the desired target, which it then crashed into and destroyed as a result of the explosion. The program had poor results and was shut down after several failed missions.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force made extensive use of the Ryan Aeronautical Model 147 Lightning Bug subsonic drone to conduct pre- and post-attack reconnaissance missions. over heavily protected areas in North Vietnam. An improved version of the Lightning Bug, Firebee, was flown over North Vietnam, China and the Soviet Union for imaging and intelligence purposes. This use of drones has saved the lives of several American crews who would otherwise have lost their lives if these missions had been performed by “human” aircraft.
Modern drone technology began in the 1980s when the U.S. Marine Corps took over the Israeli-made Pioneer UAV, helping to ensure that technology, previously limited to missions at a strategic level only, gained practical tactical application on the modern battlefield. The techniques and procedures developed by the Marine Corps in the 29 Palms Desert of California were later used in the Gulf War in 1991, where Pioneer drones were used to gather intelligence and coordinate fire support against Iraqi targets.
Pioneer it was replaced by the RQ-1 Predator in the mid-1990s. The Predator provided the U.S. Army with greater range, longer residence time over the target, and improved navigation and data acquisition sensors. The Predator used a ground control station located at the airport from which the drone was operated. Control could be transferred to a mobile ground control station near the monitored area.
However, in 2001, on behalf of the CIA, the Air Force changed the way the drones operated forever. The CIA was tasked with ending Osama Bin Laden. The Air Force mounted a Hellfire missile on an RQ-1 and then connected the aircraft to a remote ground control station in the United States at CIA headquarters. The RQ-1 was controlled remotely by a signal sent to a satellite repeater station in Germany, which was transmitted via an underwater cable to a satellite and then to a satellite that communicated directly with the aircraft. the terrorist attacks of 11 september took place before this system could be used operationally. However, the RQ-1 / MQ-1 armed drones soon became the most appropriate weapon in the post-9/11 global war on terror: U.S. Air Force and CIA drones fired thousands of missiles, resulting in the deaths of thousands of armed and significant civilians.
An improved version of the MQ-1, the MQ-9 Reaper, was later deployed, capable of longer-term deployments using a combination of missiles and satellite-controlled bombs. Other drones, such as the stealth RQ-170, have been developed with even longer deployment times and intelligence capabilities. The RQ-170 flew infamously over Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani complex during a life-threatening American raid and broadcast images directly to the White House. An RQ-170 was also hijacked by Iranians who landed inside Iran and took possession of the aircraft and its sensors, which were redeveloped to be used in Iran’s own drone program.
Drone technology is modern became a staple of U.S. warfare, combining the kinetic capabilities of the Predator and Reaper with the reconnaissance capabilities of the RQ-170, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and other systems to provide full support to U.S. forces overseas.
The use of drones has allowed the U.S. to carry out denial attacks on nations with which it is not officially at war. By not having to reckon with the number of potential casualties when the drones were shot, it also helped to prevent the escalation of hostilities. Perhaps the most appropriate example of this is the loss of a Global Hawk drone due to Iranian ground-to-air missiles over the Strait of Hormuz in June 2019. Had a similarly equipped, manned reconnaissance aircraft, such as the E-8 JSTARS, been shot down, the loss of 22 U.S. aviation officers would have required a significant military response in retaliation. However, as no lives were lost in the shooting of the Global Hawk, the incident did not bite.
The success of the United States in the application of drone technology has prompted several nations to add UAVs to their operational repertoire. However, the American approach to UAVs focuses on technology, which places drones used by other countries outside the budgets of most other nations. However, several nations have entered the forefront of drone applications, using affordable but efficient UAV systems. One of these, Israel, a whole family deployed a so-called “suicide drone,” which II. they mimic the intent of World War II remote-controlled B-17 bombers and the capabilities of the MQ-9 Reaper by using aircraft using high-quality sensor technology, which are essentially flying bombs. These planes fly over a region, identify a target, and then crash into and destroy the target. The Israeli Orbiter-1K small kamikaze drone and the Israeli-made Harop ammunition were reported to have been used by Azerbaijan together with the Turkish-made drones during the victorious war with Armenia in 2020.
Turkey has a wide range in Syrian and Libyan combat operations. widely used his self-developed armed drone, the Bayraktar TB2. These small drones each use up to four tiny, precision-guided ammunition that have been deployed with high efficiency against enemy forces. Turkey also supplied TB2 to Ukraine, where it was deployed against Russian-backed forces in the Donbass region. Turkey has also developed its own version of the “suicide drone”, a four-camera robotic aircraft known as the Kargu-2, which can operate independently and as part of a swarm of up to 20 drones, defeating most defense systems.
Iran also developed its own drone capability, which was deployed with high efficiency against targets in Saudi Arabia, where Iranian-made drones used by Yemeni rebels severely damaged Saudi oil plants in 2019. Recently, five Iranian-made drones were used by Iran-friendly militias operating within Syria to strike barracks used by U.S. forces stationed in Tanf. The recent use of Turkish-made drones in Syria in Ukraine and Iran threatened to dangerously escalate the conflict in these two regions, involving Russian (Ukraine) and American (Syrian) forces in the fight.
Although no one doubts the effectiveness of either Russia or the US in warfare, the ability of their opponents to use deadly drone technology is a battleground balancing factor in the short term that must be respected not only by military commanders on the ground but also by political decision-makers in Moscow and Washington who can no longer be sure of technological superiority on the battlefield.
As drones become cheaper and more suitable, the battlefield of the future may be determined by the kind of starting technology that has so far been limited to the Olympic Games or the “dead”. featured fantastic light shows over Mexico City on the occasion of his day. However, instead of entertaining a potential enemy, such swarms, by using deadly suicide drones, can quickly defeat a wide range of defenses, potentially changing the outcome of the battlefield in favor of the party using the technology. The image of war is changing, drone technology is no longer the sole responsibility of the great powers.
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