Drones: The Modern War Machines


The US military is known for being one of the first organizations to widely use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, otherwise referred to as UAV’s or drones. These drones are highly capable and sophisticated machines. They are flown by a pilot on the ground remotely. They can also be be controlled by programing in preset coordinates. The military has launched many successful missions because of the technological advances the drones can supply.

The military uses drones for a wide variety of different missions, however the two most common purposes include surveillance and attacks. Drones have the capability of remaining airborne for extended periods of time. The Zephyr, a British drone, has a record for staying in the air for 82 hours. Not only can they fly for extended periods of time without having to support a pilot, they are also cheaper than other military aircraft. This can save a lot of time and money for an already overextended military without compromising results.

For example, war drones that are sent into Afghanistan and Iraq are safely controlled via satellite from a USAF base located outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The ground crew first launches the drones for a strike. Then the control is handed over to pilots in a trailer in Nevada. One person starts the drone and flies it while the other operates it sensors and cameras. Meanwhile, a third pilot is in constant communication with the commanders that are responsible for the operation.

Drones in this capacity were first being widely used in the Balkan wars and have now seen an upsurge of usefulness in conflict with Afghanistan and Iraq. They are also being used by the CIA to help gather intelligence on the Taliban in remote tribal areas of Pakistan. Drones have clearly been a huge aid to our military forces. But that is not all.  They are becoming just as popular in the civilian sector as well.

Some areas where drone use is becoming popular is in crop surveillance, filming for sports and movies,and inspecting power and pipelines. They have also be used for search and rescue operations. In addition, drones have also become highly popular for sending medical and nutritional supplies to remote and inaccessible regions. Drones are also being used to track illegal hunting. In short, drone use is becoming common in daily activities.

To prove just how mainstream drone use is becoming there was recently an article in the Wall Street Journal stating that Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, which is a drone manufacturing company. Earlier this year, Facebook was also in the process of purchasing Titan, however, Google won the bid. Titan is based in New Mexico and its specialty is self-powered, and high altitude drones. Soon Google will be able to conduct cheaper and quicker surveillance by replacing satellites with drones.  It’s an exciting world where drones are becoming not only a daily part of the military, but for personal and business use as well.


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