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Large Predator UAVs Might Not Make Sense for Nations With Plenty of Skinny Human Pilots

June 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 147

It seems that every nation wants robotic unmanned aerial vehicles. All the militaries of the world want them, perhaps because they'd like to emulate the United States of America, and they love the abilities of our drones. Still, many nations can't afford them, as these aircraft have sophisticated systems, and in actuality it's a lot cheaper just to build an airplane and hire a human pilot. Recently, there was an article in one of the international aviation magazine about several African countries that couldn't afford the sophisticated UAVs, nor do we wish to sell them those technologies.

In their case, they have plenty of skinny humans that are not overweight with diabetes which would make great pilots. The airframes and types of aircraft they choose are not that expensive compared to these larger UAVs. A skinny pilot that doesn't weigh very much is not expensive cargo, and they can control and fly the planes just fine. They'd probably be willing to fly around for 8 to 10 hours a day with no problem, as long as they had a bottle to piss in depending on the length of the flight. You might think that's funny, but I'm hoping you'll understand the reality here.

Our large predator UAVs and other similar unmanned aerial systems require lots of computer systems, communication links, satellites, and people on the ground to fly them remotely. Is not just the cost of the aircraft that we are talking about, this is an entire system, a network of computers, running a lot of sophisticated equipment aboard on a relatively simple aircraft platform. Our larger UAVs are about twice or three times as much as a corporate jet, they aren't cheap.

A small country or military in Africa could afford to buy 20 aircraft or a whole fleet at $550,000 each for the cost of just the basic UAV platform, not counting all the expensive hardware aboard, or the computer systems and communication linkage to make it all work. 20 aircraft is basically an entire squadron. For the United States this might make sense, as we are flying something half way around the world, it takes a lot technology do that. But the smaller countries are dealing with airspace within their country, perhaps only 400 or 500 miles from their home base if it were the center of the country.

Many of these nations might want the sophisticated UAVs, but they can afford them, don't have the manpower, technological experience, or maintenance abilities to keep them going. About all they could do is rent the services from the United States military, let us fly the drones on their behalf, but I bet they wouldn't want to get that bill at the end of the month either, and it's doubtful we'd ever get reimbursed anyway. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Source: EzineArticles
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