Unarmed Fighter Jets

Redheart

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#1
Boeing converts F-16 fighter jet into an unmanned drone

Boeing has announced that it has retrofitted a number of retired Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets with equipment enabling them to be flown remotely without a pilot. In conjunction with the US Air Force, the company recently flew one of these unmanned jets, performing combat maneuvers and a perfect center line landing.
I don't know if these were the first of their kind but it looks like there's plenty of room for improvement.
The unmanned jet took off from a base in Florida and flew to the Gulf of Mexico
That success means that other nations will use this technology and as these 'unmanned fighter jets' can be flown to high risk areas it makes them more lethal than manned air-craft. Maybe it would be better to replace all fighter jets that must be flown by pilots with drone-like jets that would sharply reduce pilots losing their lives in combat?
 
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#2
This is a really interesting article and cool technological development, Redheart. It would definitely be a benefit to advance technologies that can put pilots out of harm's reach. I also wonder if widespread use of unmanned fighter jets would lead to their more aggressive use, as you don't have to worry about pilot casualties.
 

RobertNick

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#3
This has been done before. The purpose of this is actually just training pilots against live targets. Previously, they were using F4 Phantoms, you can research and see for yourselves, the performance new technology has rendered them rather obsolete. The military needed a more up to date target drone for training.
 
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#4
Boeing converts F-16 fighter jet into an unmanned drone



I don't know if these were the first of their kind but it looks like there's plenty of room for improvement.

That success means that other nations will use this technology and as these 'unmanned fighter jets' can be flown to high risk areas it makes them more lethal than manned air-craft. Maybe it would be better to replace all fighter jets that must be flown by pilots with drone-like jets that would sharply reduce pilots losing their lives in combat?
The concept of the drones would reduce the death toll for pilots. Drones sound that a better option but until the targets are accurate, they could be causing more harm then good. I think we have at least a few years for the drones to be efficient enough for combat.
 
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#5
I reckon it is a good idea and the unarmed jets can go to risky areas and show training pilots how to train better and learn from it and maybe improve in how they fly the jet. I wander what will happen if a fight happens and the computer controlled jet may prevail and hope it does not malfunction midway or hits another plane or crashes. I don't think unmanned flight would replace pilots as, more testing would be needed to see how safe it is and will it obey orders and do what it is meant to do in flight.
 

PoRiRam

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#6
Wow, that's really amazing. Technology really is pushing the limits these days, it's so cool that something like this could save a pilot's life. It said that the pilots control them from a ground control center, I wonder what the controls look like. I'm a little bit in awe at how far we're all coming when it comes to advancing technology like this. I'm sure this will continue to be in development for a very long time and begin to possess even more awesome capabilities. I'm a little in awe over it if you can't tell!
 
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#7
This is just a remote control retrofit, nothing spectacular. If you watch Mythbusters they do the same to cars all the time so they can drive them off cliffs, into the ocean etc.

But drones are obviously the future. It will take a long time before they can be programmed in such a way that they stand the slightest chance against a human pilot in a similar aircraft but that day will come. Currently drones are used mainly for surveillance and air-to-ground strikes but in 10-15 years I wouldn't be surprised to see them doing air supremacy and other more advanced missions.
 
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#8
The thread is mislabeled, I was wondering how a "figher" can be unarmed. The title should be unmanned. It is just a larger drone. It does not really make much sense since a fighter was increased in size to fit a pilot inside the plane. A flying wing makes a much better drone, since the wing can be perfectly flat without a cockpit.
 
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#9
So more and more drones are coming to the market. How long until we have a fully automated army and not rely on humans for operating machines?
 
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#10
This can be useful but as usual with planes that are not being flown by pilots that are actually sat in the cockpit is that they are limited in their decision making and speed at which they can designate targets. A camera can only do so much.
 
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#11
Pretty interesting. I envision that we will see drones offering close air support for troops on the ground. It's honestly surprised me that the US military envisions the A-10 being replaced by the F-35 rather than going the way of drones.
 
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#12
With terrorist networks, both local and transnational, growing by the minute, I believe there is a huge need for governments to invest more in drone technology. I strongly support the proliferation of drones especially in countries plagued by terrorists. There are several old model jets that could be converted to drones. Yes, granted there would be limited movement, drones have every advantage when it comes to stealth and speed. You can fly them in the direction of enemy territory, catch them off-guard and gain the upper hand. They have their limits so the military should use them strategically.
 
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#13
How would they have an advantage when flying in the direction of enemy territory? It's the same as a manned vehicle, they can still intercept it and possibly destroy it.
 

TBDistrict

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#14
I'm guessing it's because as far as the terrorists we're dealing with, they don't even see the drones that we're using right now. For them to be able to intercept one of these is probably equally unlikely.

There's also the fact that if one of these unmanned vehicles is intercepted or destroyed, we're preventing the loss of human life. Sure, it's an expensive piece of equipment that's destroyed, but there doesn't really seem to be a limit on military spending so I'm guessing that's not a huge concern.
 

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