Our US military is fortunate to have some of the greatest high-tech companies on the planet here in the US able to create, design, manufacture, and test the most advanced weapons on the planet. There is so much going on, it’s almost impossible to keep track of it all, but let’s talk about a few of the headlines in this sector in April of 2009;General Atomics Predator C “Avenger” makes first test flight.
This UAV or unmanned aerial vehicle will be capable of much better performance than its predecessors, and the cost is better too. It appears that we are making some serious headway in the robotic warfare arena, which is good considering our needs in theatre and securing our own borders here at home.New “Spike” missiles for UAV Drones 25% the size and weight of Hell Fire MissilesThe older Hell Fire Missiles are 100 lbs, and these little missiles mean we can carry 4-times as many on one aircraft, and thus, it can be even more effective. Consider a UAV with two or four hell fire missiles capable of taking out 2-4 targets per sortie, now think about four times that many or 8-16 targets per sortie, maybe more? This is a huge improvement and we will notice the efficiency almost right away.
Additionally, one of the major problems with stealth aircraft is that they must put all the missiles inside the aircraft so they are not hanging off and enlarging the radar signature. But the bigger the missiles are the fewer you can carry. Miniaturization is the key to this problem and it looks as if these little spike missiles tested at China Lake might just contain some of the technology needed to solve that challenge.