Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Militaria: Mystery UCAV in Afghanistan

Afghanistan maybe the testing ground for a new, advanced but as yet undisclosed UCAV programme.

Pictures shown exclusively to Unmanned Vehicles magazine and taken at an airbase in the war-torn country reveal a large flying wing-type design, adopted by UCAV designers, but not yet seen on an operational type.

The image shown in the link below has been drawn directly from the photograph but none of the experts consulted by UV had any concrete idea of what the system might be.

The image shown to UV was taken from a long distance, as the aircraft taxied in on a hazy day, but the image was clear enough to show that this UAV’s design is like no other UAV in current operational service.

There are probably two reasons for a stealthy UCAV being used in Afghanistan. 1. It and iraq are the best real life testing grounds we have: the prototypes can actually be used with live ordinance on real missions. 2. There are elements in Pakistan, probably even a few radar techs, that are feeding info to people on the ground, so if the UCAV can't be seen, there's no chance of a warning...

The picture above is an artist's rendition based on photos taken. Mostly likely that's an American UCAV, since it fits proposals from around 8 to 5 years ago by various defense contractors, but it's not a given.

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