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U.S. Army orders its first batch of suicide drones (What CIA needed in Benghazi?)
MSNBC ^ | September 6, 2011 | Unattributed

Posted on 11/04/2012 9:36:45 AM PST by Seizethecarp

Soldiers who fly hand-launched drone scouts to spot enemies on the battlefield may soon get a deadly robotic device capable of also delivering a knockout blow. The U.S. Army has ordered its first batch of small suicide drones that are capable of launching from a small tube, loitering in the sky and then diving at a target upon command.

The backpack-size "Switchblade" drone and its launch tube give individual soldiers a new level of precise control over an explosive weapon. Rather than calling in supporting artillery fire or airstrikes, soldiers can simply launch the Switchblade from out of sight, confirm a target on a live video feed from the drone, and then command the robotic device to arm itself and fly into the target at high speed.

"The unique capabilities provided by the Switchblade agile munition for standoff engagement, accuracy and controlled effects make it an ideal weapon for today's fight and for U.S. military forces of the future," said Bill Nichols, deputy product director at the Army's Close Combat Weapons Systems project office.

Operators can even call off strikes at the last second after arming the Switchblade. That kind of control allows soldiers to retarget in case an enemy moves out of sight, or avoid collateral damage if a civilian wanders too close.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:
At least one year prior to Benghazigate the US Army appears to have had a micro armed drone system available that might have saved the CIA contractors.
1 posted on 11/04/2012 9:36:49 AM PST by Seizethecarp
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To: Travis McGee

ping...


2 posted on 11/04/2012 9:37:52 AM PST by Seizethecarp
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To: Travis McGee

The Switchblade is assembled in Simi Valley by AeroVironment Inc., the Pentagon’s top supplier of small drones, which include the Raven, Wasp and Puma. More than 50 Switchblades will be sent to the war zone in Afghanistan this summer under a $10.1-million contract, which also includes the cost of repairs, spare parts, training and other expenses. Officials would not provide details about where the weapons would be used, how many were ordered and precisely when they would be deployed.

AeroVironment, based in Monrovia, developed the weapon on its own, thinking the military could use a lethal drone that could be made cheaply and deployed quickly by soldiers in the field, said company spokesman Steven Gitlin.
Switchblade already tested in combat by spec ops:

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/11/business/la-fi-kamikaze-drone-20120611

“It’s not inexpensive to task an Apache helicopter or F-16 fighter jet from a base to take out an [improvised explosive device] team when you consider fuel, people, logistics support, etc.,” he said.

About a dozen Switchblades were tested last year by special operations units in Afghanistan, according to Army officials, who said the drone proved effective.


3 posted on 11/04/2012 9:44:24 AM PST by Seizethecarp
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To: Seizethecarp
Suicide drone? Aren't those also known as cruise missiles?
4 posted on 11/04/2012 9:46:57 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Big Bird is a brood parasite: laid in our nest 43 years ago and we are still feeding him.)
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To: KarlInOhio

Sorry if I sounded Snarky about cruise missiles.

5 posted on 11/04/2012 9:51:06 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Big Bird is a brood parasite: laid in our nest 43 years ago and we are still feeding him.)
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To: Seizethecarp

There’s always the problem of letting our enemies get hold of one of these and saving themselves the cost of engineering one. The point has been made that the Predator drone (if that’s what it was) is too expensive to crash into light Infantry. The point was also made that it was more useful serving as a guide for the Americans to avoid ambushes on their way to the Benghazi airport. This brings to the fore the old “How much is a life worth?” argument. I would crash the drone to save lives, but that’s a call decided by one’s own conscience. As for the drone being more useful to guiding the Americans out, I was taught “Danger Close!” You deal with what can kill you right away and then the next closest threat and so on. I’m pretty sure those two dead former SEALs would have filled out an allotment for $25 a month for life to pay for a drone to crash into that mortar site so they could still be alive for their families.


6 posted on 11/04/2012 9:51:18 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Seizethecarp

Several episodes of the old TV program, “Man From Uncle” used dynamite strapped to remote controlled model airplanes as weapons.


7 posted on 11/04/2012 9:53:06 AM PST by preacher (Communism has only killed 100 million people: Let's give it another chance!)
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To: Seizethecarp

want to see it work? http://www.businessinsider.com/switchblade-suicide-drone-2011-10


8 posted on 11/04/2012 9:56:31 AM PST by The Wizard (Madam President is my President now and in the future)
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To: KarlInOhio

Ah, yes, the Snark-infested waters off Cape Canaveral. A lot of them didn’t get very far post launch.


9 posted on 11/04/2012 10:00:10 AM PST by stboz
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To: stboz

Don’t forget all the IRBRMs in the Banana River...


10 posted on 11/04/2012 10:30:02 AM PST by null and void (Day 1384 of the Obama hostage crisis - Barack Hussein Obama an enemy BOTH foreign AND domestic)
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To: null and void

...IBRMs...


11 posted on 11/04/2012 10:30:57 AM PST by null and void (Day 1384 of the Obama hostage crisis - Barack Hussein Obama an enemy BOTH foreign AND domestic)
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To: KarlInOhio
The US Navy was developing a "cruise missile" during WWI.

A mini biplane launched from a rail, maybe 1/4 size or so. Engine had a counter to drop the ordnance.

When the Army found out the Navy was developing such a weapon, they hired inventor Charles Kettering to develop one for the Army.

I think the war ending before the projects were proved, and Kettering went on to run GM.

During WWII, the US Navy again was looking at a "cruise missile", the German V-1, to bombard Japan.

Again, the war ended...

12 posted on 11/04/2012 10:34:32 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: Seizethecarp
(What CIA needed in Benghazi?)

Utterly lacking a Commander in Chief they sure needed something.

0bama turned his back on 41 Americans and left them to die.

13 posted on 11/04/2012 10:34:38 AM PST by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: Seizethecarp

Can they be programmed to shout something before exploding?


14 posted on 11/04/2012 10:41:00 AM PST by Kandy Atz ("Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want for bread.")
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To: Calvin Locke
During WW2 the Marine Corps tested a plan to put incendiary devices on bats and release them over Japanese cities. The bats would then seek shelter in the eaves and attics of the mainly wooden buildings, setting them on fire. The initial plans worked fairly well, but the project was suspended in 1943 in favor of the B-29’s and dropping standard incendiaries on the Japanese cities.
15 posted on 11/04/2012 10:41:53 AM PST by Stonewall Jackson ( "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.")
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To: Seizethecarp

Well, that’s cool!
Wonder what type of warhead it is using and weight of explosives?


16 posted on 11/04/2012 10:41:53 AM PST by Little Ray (I have VOTED AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: The Wizard

That video showed a Humvee with soldiers on patrol. Yet, they “switchblade” wasn’t ready for use, and, it had to be taken from the vehicle and taken out of the bag and had to be made ready, before actually deploying it.

That’s a lot of wasted time, and on the battlefield, time wasted can equal lives lost. Such a device should be ready for use, immediately, just like rifles and pistols. In fact, if they do prove to be useful in the battlefield, then, they should be made part of a bigger weapon system, like a tank, and shot out of a launch tube mounted on a tank.

In the future, perhaps a miniaturized “switchblade” can be developed which will be no bigger than a grenade, and launched out of a grenade launcher. That would then be equal to a “smart bullet”.


17 posted on 11/04/2012 10:43:58 AM PST by adorno
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To: adorno

There’s no reason why a large drone could not carry a load of these small suicide drones in its belly.

A large drone can loiter for many hours above a set of targets. Small suicide drones could be dropped at will.

The small suicide drones are severely limited in fuel and cannot loiter for more than a few minutes.

If the large drone is at high altitude then the suicide drones could glide for 20+ miles in any direction before they would have to begin consuming their own fuel.

The suicide drones would be a great improvement in many instances over the precision missiles usually fired from larger drones. They could loiter for a short time, be re-tasked, be controlled by a soldier on the ground near the target or from the command center.


18 posted on 11/04/2012 10:59:12 AM PST by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: Kandy Atz
"Allahu Akbar THIS!!!"
19 posted on 11/04/2012 11:01:34 AM PST by Tex-Con-Man (Muppet season now open - no bag limit)
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To: Seizethecarp
At least one year prior to Benghazigate the US Army appears to have had a micro armed drone system available that might have saved the CIA contractors.

Which is why Obama would never allow them to be issued to troops.

It would allow troops in the field to have firepower that could be used to take out enemies, and the JAGs and brass back in HQ would have no power to override or enforce insane Rules of Engagement upon.

20 posted on 11/04/2012 11:14:19 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (political correctness is communist thought control, disguised as good manners)
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To: KarlInOhio

and MATADOR and MACE and REGULUS.

time to reread WAR IN 2020 by ralph peters.


21 posted on 11/04/2012 11:47:51 AM PST by bravo whiskey ( by ralph peters.)
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To: Seizethecarp

Goofy little thing. Has a warhead slightly larger than a 40mm grenade. Might be annoying but not a real piece of combat power. Israeli Spike missile (fiber optic guided, 6,000m range, 10 pound warhead) or the old Merlin 81mm guided mortar round would be better choices, to just name two.


22 posted on 11/04/2012 12:13:20 PM PST by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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To: Seizethecarp

If somebody can kluge this up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNPJMk2fgJU

Seriously, why did they not have a few claymores and an M-60?


23 posted on 11/04/2012 5:36:41 PM PST by darth
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