Right now I'm beating you to Miller time, Rec (although I don't like Miller, so I'm drinking Carling Light, Canada's laughingstock brew). Then I'm gonna beat you to the leftover meatloaf in our little cottage fridge here. And then I'm gonna beat you to bed (Big Brother should be aroused by that overnight footage! All ZZZ and no XXX!), 'cause I have to get up at 4:00, drink a few cups of black coffee, and hit the road at the earliest twilight for my thrice-weekly penance (no, I'm not really Catholic).
But do keep up your surveillance of surveillance! I'm depending on you, brother!
That's an impressive schedule there, corrocamino! And you're right, you've beaten me to all those fine things. I don't begrudge you them, either.
As for keeping up surveillance of surveillance, how about the Parrot AR.Drone, for all your civilian airborne snooping needs. It's not a weapons platform (yet), but it sounds and [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3KrFV0-WFw]looks[/ame] like it might be just the thing to keep an eye on those who're keeping an eye on you. The only thing, as somebody elsewhere mentioned, is that it'll make those ipad/iphone types just that little bit more insufferable.
On February 4th, the U.S. Navy X-47B UCAV (unmanned combat air vehicle) made its first flight. It was three years ago that the navy rolled out its first combat UAV; the 15 ton X-47B. This pilotless aircraft has a wingspan of 20 meters/62 feet (whose outer 5 meter/15 foot portions fold up to save space on the carrier). It carries a two ton payload and will be able to stay in the air for twelve hours. The U.S. is far ahead of other nations in UCAV development, and this is energizing activity in Russia, Europe and China to develop similar aircraft.
Five years ago, the Pentagon was on cusp of an air-combat revolution. For a few brief, heady months in late 2005, it looked like the U.S. military might soon launch full-scale development of a new class of fast, lethal Unmanned Aerial Vehicles eventually capable of replacing all kinds of fighter jets, from the older F-15s, F-16s and F-18s to the latest F-22s.
But the revolution fizzled when the Air Force abandoned its share of the so-called Joint Unmanned Combat Air System effort. Manned jets continued to dominate, culminating in today’s mammoth, $300-billion F-35 program.
The embers of upheaval kept burning, almost invisibly. The technology from the 2005 effort survived in various forms, slowly maturing amid a growing demand for combat UAVs. Today, no fewer than three separate killer drone designs — two of them direct descendants of the original J-UCAS demonstrators — have converged on two airfields in California for flight tests.
...And just for the hell of it, an interesting story from last December about a surveillance drone that crashed in El Paso. Why is this interesting? Well, it was a Mexican aircraft.
Mexican Attorney General spokeswoman Rocio Torres denied her country's involvement with the drone Friday, but later in the day, another Mexican official said the drone was being operated by the Ministry of Public Security and was following a target at the time of the mechanical malfunction.