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Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

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  #16  
Old 28 Aug 15, 11:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karri View Post
Come on, someone must have ideas? There's enough people here familiar with the concept of jetpacks to see that drones might drive the same purpose at some point. Discuss, the idea intrigues me. Might change urban operations/mobility completely.
The obvious selling point of drones is that you aren't risking personnel. You may lose material assets, but you won't lose lives.

Placing a human in the drone takes that main advantage back. Yes, what you suggest might come in handy for special operations in environments where a regular helicopter is too cumbersome, but in that case the relevant thing won't be that you use an unmanned vehicle; but just that you use a very small helicopter. Actually, it might be handier if the soldier, upon landing, just leaves the vehicle there, as he'd do with a jetpack.
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Old 28 Aug 15, 13:33
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Welcome to the World, Drone-Killing Laser Cannon

Hang on to your drone. Boeing’s developed a laser cannon specifically designed to turn unmanned aircraft into flaming wreckage.

The aerospace company’s new weapon system, which it publicly tested this week in a New Mexico industrial park, isn’t quite as cool as what you see in Star Wars—there’s no flying beams of light, no “pew! pew!” sound effects. But it is nonetheless a working laser cannon, and it will take your drone down.

People keep flying their drones where they shouldn’t. In airport flight paths. Above wildfires. Onto the White House lawn. Luckily, there haven’t been any really bad incidents—that is, no one has been killed by a civilian quadcopter or plane, yet.
...
http://www.wired.com/2015/08/welcome...-laser-cannon/
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  #18  
Old 28 Aug 15, 15:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G David Bock View Post
Welcome to the World, Drone-Killing Laser Cannon

Hang on to your drone. Boeing’s developed a laser cannon specifically designed to turn unmanned aircraft into flaming wreckage.

The aerospace company’s new weapon system, which it publicly tested this week in a New Mexico industrial park, isn’t quite as cool as what you see in Star Wars—there’s no flying beams of light, no “pew! pew!” sound effects. But it is nonetheless a working laser cannon, and it will take your drone down.

People keep flying their drones where they shouldn’t. In airport flight paths. Above wildfires. Onto the White House lawn. Luckily, there haven’t been any really bad incidents—that is, no one has been killed by a civilian quadcopter or plane, yet.
...
http://www.wired.com/2015/08/welcome...-laser-cannon/
Why do you need a special weapon for unmanned aircraft? Surely one that kills manned ones will do just as well?
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Old 28 Aug 15, 16:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Why do you need a special weapon for unmanned aircraft? Surely one that kills manned ones will do just as well?
1) AAA - what rounds don't impact, fall to the ground = possible colateral ... ;also need to be manned and ready

2) From the article the impression is this device is more suited to the smaller size and "civilian" types, can be remote or automatic activated.

3) Quieter, quicker, less expensive to operate ...

My guesses anyway.
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  #20  
Old 29 Aug 15, 14:24
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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
The obvious selling point of drones is that you aren't risking personnel. You may lose material assets, but you won't lose lives.

Placing a human in the drone takes that main advantage back. Yes, what you suggest might come in handy for special operations in environments where a regular helicopter is too cumbersome, but in that case the relevant thing won't be that you use an unmanned vehicle; but just that you use a very small helicopter. Actually, it might be handier if the soldier, upon landing, just leaves the vehicle there, as he'd do with a jetpack.
I mean the unmanned smaller drones, like the ones amazon is using to experiment with delivering packages. Imagine if those have a lift capacity of 100kg(yeah, nowhere near that now, but what about in 20-30 years?). Need to get to a roof? Just get to the nearest safe wall and zip up in seconds with a drone. Or move from roof to roof, etc. Would add vertical movement in an easier capacity to urban environment.
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Old 29 Aug 15, 20:27
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How about an urban warfare drone? Use it to check the roof of the next building and, if the coast is clear, attach a rope to allow troops to scale it and enter from the top.

Edit: I going to side with Michelle here and move this to weapons of war.
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  #22  
Old 30 Aug 15, 03:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
They are not, as long as they are remotely controlled.

An airplane is an airplane with its pilot in it.
A flying drone is an airplane with its pilot somewhere else.

The drone has an obvious advantage (not risking a human life), but it probably has its own disadvantages (a less full feedback to the pilot, and thus a larger margin of error, probably).
But both can provide essentially the same battlefield functions.

Note that putting your own personnel out of harm's way is not a novelty coming with the drones. Even the simplest ballistics is about that. Traps and mines and Krummlauf round-the-corner barrels and stand-off weapons are about that.

Once you field an unmanned vehicle that can operate, at least for some time, independently of human control of any kind, well that will be otherness. We already have robots and robotic space probes. Those are not armed, yet; but we also have seabed mines that can fire a pretty smart torpedo. Fortunately, their environment is a serious limitation. But what when such a device will be an aerial or land robot?
We are now at the point that, technologically, we can field fully autonomous military drones if we want to, within the normal boundaries of weapon development and testing. The main blockers are cultural (how do we all feel about it) and legal.
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Old 30 Aug 15, 03:09
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Originally Posted by GCoyote View Post
How about an urban warfare drone? Use it to check the roof of the next building and, if the coast is clear, attach a rope to allow troops to scale it and enter from the top.

Edit: I going to side with Michelle here and move this to weapons of war.
For me, an urban warfare drone is an important priority. All the futures work suggests urban conflicts in troubled hot spots around the world is likely to be a common mission. The Mumbai terror attack suggests a possible domestic need too.

Urban warfare is an especially hazardous enterprise for troops. Drones that can smash through windows, doors, or enter through water / sewage systems and quickly clear a room would be very valuable.
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Old 30 Aug 15, 06:49
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Originally Posted by Escape2Victory View Post
F.or me, an urban warfare drone is an important priority. All the futures work suggests urban conflicts in troubled hot spots around the world is likely to be a common mission. The Mumbai terror attack suggests a possible domestic need too

Urban warfare is an especially hazardous enterprise for troops. Drones that can smash through windows, doors, or enter through water / sewage systems and quickly clear a room would be very valuable.
Especially to terrorists if they can get their hands on them - just think how much more damage and death the Mumbai attackers could have caused using such technology
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Old 30 Aug 15, 08:20
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Helicopter or other hovering type drones small enough to enter buildings would be highly useful for recon and could fire small (30-50mm) rockets or dispense smoke grenades and such. But realistically you'd want an ecosystem of autonomous or semi-autonomous systems rather than just one type of drone.

You could have a sort of pseudo-IFV that was designed for direct fire and support, perhaps a 75mm short/medium barreled gun or a mixture of 30-40mm cannon with an integrated mortar of some variety. The rear half of the vehicle would house several flying drones and a couple of "walking" ones. You could have humanoid shaped ones derived from exoskeleton programs or you could have sort of dog-shaped ones. The form is not so important, but they would need to have dextrous arms in any case. The main obstacle would be getting "door kicking" ability to work in this, so perhaps humanoid shape is better. Then again a robotic dog may end up basically being a metalic battering ram so that might work! I don't know.

In any case, you have a street-level direct fire platform, which could also do some light indirect fire via mortar (could have guided shells too obviously for precision work), an aerial recon and very light strike platform that could also enter hallways and buildings, and pseudo-infantry drone that can actually enter buildings with small arms and overcome physical barriers inside them.

The role of human operators could vary in such a scenario. At minimum you'd want them in the loop for target confirmation, at least until artificial intelligence gets really good. Autonomous systems should be able to identify humans and movement extremely efficiently though. A human soldier would be sort of a commander giving marching orders and requisitioning additional assets on the ground. They'd be armed too but only directly engage in combat when it is strictly necessary.
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Old 30 Aug 15, 15:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoseDeafMutes View Post
Helicopter or other hovering type drones small enough to enter buildings would be highly useful for recon and could fire small (30-50mm) rockets or dispense smoke grenades and such. But realistically you'd want an ecosystem of autonomous or semi-autonomous systems rather than just one type of drone.

You could have a sort of pseudo-IFV that was designed for direct fire and support, perhaps a 75mm short/medium barreled gun or a mixture of 30-40mm cannon with an integrated mortar of some variety. The rear half of the vehicle would house several flying drones and a couple of "walking" ones. You could have humanoid shaped ones derived from exoskeleton programs or you could have sort of dog-shaped ones. The form is not so important, but they would need to have dextrous arms in any case. The main obstacle would be getting "door kicking" ability to work in this, so perhaps humanoid shape is better. Then again a robotic dog may end up basically being a metalic battering ram so that might work! I don't know.

In any case, you have a street-level direct fire platform, which could also do some light indirect fire via mortar (could have guided shells too obviously for precision work), an aerial recon and very light strike platform that could also enter hallways and buildings, and pseudo-infantry drone that can actually enter buildings with small arms and overcome physical barriers inside them.

The role of human operators could vary in such a scenario. At minimum you'd want them in the loop for target confirmation, at least until artificial intelligence gets really good. Autonomous systems should be able to identify humans and movement extremely efficiently though. A human soldier would be sort of a commander giving marching orders and requisitioning additional assets on the ground. They'd be armed too but only directly engage in combat when it is strictly necessary.
Some good thoughts here. Target acquisition and target killers are maybe different drone skill sets, separate platforms.

You want mass, given urban will likely mean 'mega-city' and attrition may be high so they can't be too expensive either.
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Old 30 Aug 15, 16:49
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Not to derail the conversation but it is a popular idea that drones are immoral because they can be used without risking a pilot. I'm not sure of the logic here but I assume that it is just another attack on U.S. foreign policy. The theory is I assume that drones unfairly exploit the weaknesses of less developed countries and results in indiscriminate attacks. The logic requires that the U.S. foreign policy is immoral to begin with but that is never stated clearly so I also assume that the people making the argument believe it is self evident.

While drones require less risk assessment than manned vehicles I personally don't see any distinction between killing in person and killing remotely. Morality dictates that they be equally justified.
Spoken by nations who routinely practice terrorism, the ultimate immoral act which is also carried out remotely but without regard for the victims at all.

i really hate it when the terrorists and the genocidists get all whiny and weepy about the morality of others.


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Old 30 Aug 15, 19:27
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A drone for each soldier and vehicle. Completely autonomous yet follows each soldier around and listens to any orders given to it. On patrol it provides situational awareness scanning the area in that soldier's sector or every sector. It then could use its sensors to identify threats like heat sources and possibly chemical concentrations of a list of explosive making materials so that if one was sensed it could be located and defused. Of course it would have a metal detector for metal containing mines. Other sensors and features it could have besides IR, night vision and others mentioned could be a communications relay, counter-battery radar, directional audio listening, rangefinder, and zoom lens. Each drone can be used by just the soldier it follows via micro-HUD in eyepro or tablet, and it could be shared and accessed across the unit within range. Instead of having to talk over radio to get a sitrep and gather info, HQ could just access the drone feeds to understand whats going on. Fire support, medevac's, resupply could happen without the unit in the field having to call for it.
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Old 30 Aug 15, 20:49
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You can also have generic autonomous fire support assets. Big guns, mortars and guided missiles all linked into a common network. Fireteam leader marks a tank and requests fire support, or marks entrenched infantry or whatever and the network sort of balances the distribution of assets based on this information. Move the NLOS cannon forward, deploy strike fighter drones to the area of expected enemy armored activity, that sort of thing. This information / network centric model of warfare is kind of where we're already heading.
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Old 31 Aug 15, 00:06
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Another thing I just realized is that these drones could provide physiological vitals feedback to medics on the ground, medevac crews on the way and HQ so they can assess each soldier's health real-time. Soldiers would have a small gadget worn on them that checks heart/pulse rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, breathing rate and oxygen levels. By personalizing it to each user's physiology they can also estimate calorie expenditure. This way medical personnel won't have to take the time to check vitals and squad/platoon leaders can check exertion and energy levels and adapt the mission to make sure their men are physically prepared for sustained combat; adjusting which soldiers need to rest and which are more physically capable of manuevering.
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