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Project Noctua & the Heron UAV - Interim capability to support Afghanistan Ops

Tow Tripod

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Any AUV that does not have the capability to launch missiles is a waste of tax payers cas$. This is JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Typical Canadian doctrine. Bring a knife to a gunfight. When are we going to learn to play in the bigs for real. Pathetic actually.

Tow Tripod
 

Loachman

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Tow Tripod said:
Any AUV that does not have the capability to launch missiles is a waste of tax payers cas$. This is JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Typical Canadian doctrine. Bring a knife to a gunfight. When are we going to learn to play in the bigs for real. Pathetic actually.

As one who has a little more direct experience with these things, I shall disagree.

We would very much like to have the ability to zap targets of opportunity directly, but...

Carriage of weapons comes at a real cost: endurance. There is a trade-off between fuel (endurance) and weaponry, as weight is a major factor for anything that flies.

One of the strengths of UAVs is that very endurance, which generally far exceeds that of manned aircraft. Another is economy, and not just in terms of cost. Fuel has to be trucked in to KAF through a limited number of difficult routes, for example. This is challenge enough for geographical reasons, on top of which are frequent successful attacks on convoys. Nothing gets to KAF easily or cheaply or completely reliably.

Arming Predators and Reapers reduces their endurance dramatically, and neither carries a heavy weapon load. Once the single weapon or very small number of weapons have been employed, the launching UAV reverts to a pure ISTAR platform or goes home prematurely, leaving a gap in coverage.

Size of UAVs varies greatly. Many are too small to carry any form of weaponry, but those employing them (often front-line troops) do not think of them as "a waste of tax payers cas$" or "JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - and that includes forces other than Canadian. The ability of troops in contact to see over a wall or on the roof of a building with their own hand-launched UAV can be of great value.

The US Armed Forces - "bigs" - employ a variety of UAVs that cannot be armed.

Unarmed UAVs, even small ones, can be and are used to direct and/or assist artillery, armed helicopters, and manned seized-wing aircraft quite effectively.

UAVs are not, today, replacements for existing platforms and weapons and should not be thought of as such. They are there to compliment them.

Everything and everyone has strengths and weaknesses, which is why we employ complimentary systems of all descriptions.
 

tomahawk6

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When a UAV detects a target of opportunity manned aircraft can be summoned or the target can be handed off to artillery if it is in range. The nice aspect of an armed UAV is that the target can be struck immediately. There is always a tradeoff.
 

Kirkhill

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tomahawk6 said:
When a UAV detects a target of opportunity manned aircraft can be summoned or the target can be handed off to artillery if it is in range. The nice aspect of an armed UAV is that the target can be struck immediately. There is always a tradeoff.

I presume that response time can be mitigated by having arty or CAS in direct support of the UAV mission.
 

Loachman

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Kirkhill said:
I presume that response time can be mitigated by having arty or CAS in direct support of the UAV mission.

Not done. There is no need, it could limit flexibility, and, besides, we support others rather than receive support.

We provide a live video feed to the pertinent HQs, and report specific things of interest or concern to them. The decision on what to apply, if anything, is made there.

If we are supporting troops on the ground, then there is generally Arty, CCA, or CAS available to them pretty quickly already and we will assist if necessary. If we are conducting an ISR mission, time is not likely to be a factor given the lengthy period for which we will watch something.
 

geo

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Mr Plow said:
Ah Bombardier...Tabernac!!!
Umm... what's the matter with them now ?
Rotax engines are used as snowmobile engines..... not designed for anything special - and there is no particular reason to slag em.
 

Galahad

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Although Rotax does make snowmobile engines, the engine used in the Heron is a Rotax engine specifically designed for aviation purposes, and it is very common in light aircraft and other UAV's.
 

geo

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Galahad.... think Mr Plow was slagging the Bombardier Rotax engine used in the Sperwer
 

Loachman

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And our callsign is, because of this engine, "Skidoo".
 

STA Gunner

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tomahawk6 said:
When a UAV detects a target of opportunity manned aircraft can be summoned or the target can be handed off to artillery if it is in range. The nice aspect of an armed UAV is that the target can be struck immediately. There is always a tradeoff.

And for anyone who has had Predator or Reaper support allocated to them, an armed UAV will be pulled off their task as a matter of first course to apply fires to another target.

It is a real harsh tradeoff.

However, when we were flying ScanEagle, we could by completely silent and gather up information on the target and develop much more intelligence which could lead to a larger strike later on.  This proved much more effective than striking the one guy with RPG the second we saw him.
 

McG

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STA Gunner said:
This proved much more effective than striking the one guy with RPG the second we saw him.
... or on many occasions even more effective that whacking the two guys with shovels planting bombs in the road.  They are easily replaceable to the enemy & it would be far better using them to develop more valuable targets in the depth of the bomber network.
 

geo

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well.... looks like we have found a buyer for the old Sperwer UAVs.
All remaining UAVs, hulks & parts should be sold off in the near future...
Not sure if the sale will include the slingshot trucks or not but, if it results in a sale.... I say - throw the trucks into the deal ;)
 

KevinB

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MCG said:
... or on many occasions even more effective that whacking the two guys with shovels planting bombs in the road.  They are easily replaceable to the enemy & it would be far better using them to develop more valuable targets in the depth of the bomber network.

Sometimes...

Its also nice to put the fear into the would be planters that they can be targeted at will.

As well in urban areas the UAV is not the be all end all, and elluding one can be done relatively simply.

At least the UAV can mark the hotspot and EOD can deal with it -- and friendly C/S can avoid or at least have prior knowledge.
 

Loachman

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geo said:
well.... looks like we have found a buyer for the old Sperwer UAVs.
All remaining UAVs, hulks & parts should be sold off in the near future...
Not sure if the sale will include the slingshot trucks or not but, if it results in a sale.... I say - throw the trucks into the deal ;)

We are doing our level best to ensure that there will be as little left as possible.

Nobody wanted the Danish stuff except us, and that was much fresher back then. Who on earth would want our tired remains now?

We have absolutely brilliant techs, the only reasons why we are able to provide our current level of service (over twice what we are established to do). They should command a high price.

Anybody that buys this with the intent to operate it had better have %$&% magicians.

And if there truly is going to be a sale and that stops our (unofficial) plan to douse the one doing the final flight in fuel and igniting it just before flinging it into the night sky, there's likely to be a mini mutiny.
 

geo

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Heh...
The only hint I can provide is that the Sperwer won't have to be shipped very far & would be used by troops that already have something same or similar
 

geo

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LOL... I'll pass on your suggestion if you like Kev.
Who knows - they may have bonuses for good suggestions
 
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