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Da tempo all'orrizzonte ,è scoppiata la guerra dei drones tra USAF e USARMY

nonostante una recentissima presa di posizione del Parlamento che tentava di evitarla.


L'USAF vorrebbe un comando centrale integrato che si occupasse della pianificazione e gestione dei voli degli UAV e cita casi su casi di mancata collisione evitata all'ultimo secondo.


L'USARMY sostiene invece che i velivoli sono vitali all'attuale attività di guerra ma devono avere l'assoluta tempestività di intervento gestita dall'unità impegnata nelle operazioni che verrebbe inevitabilmente ritardata dalle comunicazioni con un comando centrale.


Le polemiche infuriano con veemenza da ambe le parti.




The U.S. military is increasing its use of drones in Iraq. Some of the systems include:


_ Global Hawk: The military's prime eye-in-the-sky provides high-altitude, high-resolution intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in near real-time. Once programmed, it can taxi, take off, fly, capture images and return on its own, while ground-based operators monitor its progress or, if needed, change its course. It has a wingspan of about 116 feet, and can fly at altitudes of up to 65,000 feet. The prime contractor is Northrop Grumman's Ryan Aeronautical Center in California, and the proposed 2008 federal budget would spend $876.3 million on research, development and the purchase of five aircraft.


_ Predator: Currently, the military's main hunter-killer system, the Predator is equipped with cameras, sensors and radar that can capture video and still images. It also has a targeting system and can carry two laser-guided Hellfire missiles. It is about 27 feet long, weighs more than 1,100 pounds, and can fly at altitudes up to 25,000 feet. The prime contractor is General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., and the proposed 2008 budget includes about $375 million for research, development and the purchase of 24 aircraft.




_ Shadow: It's used by Army brigades on the battlefield for reconnaissance. The Shadow is smaller than the Global Hawk and Predator, with a wingspan of 12.3 feet, and it generally flies at altitudes between 6,000 and 10,000 feet. The contractor is AAI Corp., based in Maryland, and the proposed 2008 budget includes about $48 million for development.


_ Raven: Weighing a little more than four pounds, the Raven has become a critical reconnaissance tool for smaller Army units, such as companies and battalions. It has a 5-foot wingspan, is a bit more than 3 feet long. Soldiers can fling them into the air by hand, though it also has an electric motor. It is often used to locate roadside bombs or let soldiers know what lies around the next corner or over the hill. The contractor is California-based AeroVironment Inc., and the proposed 2008 budget includes nearly $23 million for research, development and the purchase of 300 aircraft.

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