Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

China Demonstrates 25+ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the we-can-seeeeee-you dept.

The Military 97

overThruster writes "The Wall Street Journal and Defense News report that China had more than 25 different unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on display at the Zhuhai Airshow. In addition to a jet powered UAV that is potentially faster than US made drones such as the Predator and Reaper, the Chinese have developed an unmanned 'thopter' for surveillance. 'ASN showed off 10 different UAVs, including the new ASN-211 Flapping Wing Aircraft System, which simulates a bird in flight. The prototype on display has a take-off weight of only 220 grams with a maximum speed of six-to-10 meters a second and an altitude ranging from 20-200 meters. A spokesperson said the micro-UAV would mainly be used for low-altitude reconnaissance for troops in the field.'"

cancel ×

97 comments

first? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289848)

no!

Chinese take-out (4, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289850)

Gives new meaning to the phrase, "Chinese take-out"

Ornithopter, FTW. (2, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289870)

Sure ornithopters [wikipedia.org] are great, but what I really want is a personal submarine that looks like a shark [gadgetsfromchina.com] , or perhaps a subway train that drills its own tunnels [wikipedia.org] , like a worm.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289908)

a personal submarine that looks like a shark

From the manufacturer's [seabreacher.com] website:

Price for a custom built Seabreacher is dependent on the number of options that a customer chooses, but price tends to range from US$ 65,000 for a standard model to upwards of US$ 85,000 for a high-performance, heavily customized version.

So much for "cheap," made-in-communist China products.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (5, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290006)

Price for a custom built Seabreacher is dependent on the number of options that a customer chooses, but price tends to range from US$ 65,000 for a standard model to upwards of US$ 85,000 for a high-performance, heavily customized version.

This is about the same price that a BMW M5 will put you back. If you've got the money, I guess your buying choice will depend on whether you live near water, or the Nürburgring.

DISCLAIMER: I rode a couple of laps around the Nürburgring in an M5 driven a professional race driver chick. It was a hoot and a half, to see how she passed guys with too much money, driving Porsches. They didn't want to believe that they were being overtaken by a chick in a white BMW.

God damn that car was fast, but I think that driver, and her knowledge of the track really made the difference!

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (3, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290046)

The female driver was likely Sabine Schmitz (formerly Sabine Reck) [wikipedia.org] . It's known as the Nurburgring Taxi [nurburgring.org.uk]

According to her own estimates, Sabine has gone around the track more than 20,000 times, increasing by approximately 1,200 per year. Her familiarity with the circuit earned her the nicknames "Queen of the Nürburgring" and "the fastest taxi driver in the world".

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290078)

This [youtube.com] is a better link to the Ring Taxi with Sabine Schmitz.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292294)

F that. Watch what she can do in a Ford Transit Van: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KiC03_wVjc

The intro bit is here, if you want to know what's going on: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQJKQjXpGQA

(apologies if the links don't work, /. still can't copy/paste with Google Chrome)

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

jiteo (964572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290538)

That is not a disclaimer, you just wanted to brag ;)

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290574)

My lady has a 2000 Astro, which is when they went to the 4.3l Vortec V6. It's a fucking monster with towing capability beyond what most pickups have. Passes practically anything. People get really irate when you pass them in an Astro, especially Mexicans. I know that sounds racist but it is a fact that nobody wants to race to avoid being passed by the Astro more than Mexican males... putting the cheese in Machismo. And ESPECIALLY when it's being driven by a woman, it's like they can feel their testicles shrinking... but I have enough trouble with the same phenomenon. Don't people know that speeding up while you're passing is assault?

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291252)

I, a Mexican, hereby attest to the non racist nature of your comment. It's a bit of a generalization (hip, cool, feminist mexicans exist, you know?), but this suv-mommyvan problem is visible enough to justify the small bit of political incorrectness.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290720)

That vehicle is neither aerial nor unmanned, at least not in the usual sense of the word.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290904)

Not trolling you or anything (ha what a way to start a post), but there isn't really anything that shocking about Porsches being overtaken by a BMW M5. That said, I totally agree that the driver was the one that made the difference and made it look easy.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34291028)

A professional passing someone in an M5 isn't very impressive. A friend of mine learned the track from Need for Speed and was passing everyone in an M3 on his first lap.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291318)

Prices for chinese made goods have been kept artificially low due to currency manipulation by their government, slave labor-level wages and working conditions and a practical absence of environmental & consumer protection regulations. All these actions were deliberately taken by the chinese government in order to jump start their own economy while stealing entire segments of their competitors economies. Their carefully premeditated goal is nothing less than the destruction of the power of the west and the ascension of china to the pre-eminent power on earth.

When they finally do allow their currency to rise it will be with the goal of delivering an economic death blow to the west and the US in particular. If you think times are tough now, just wait until those cheap chinese goods cost roughly 10 times as much as their current prices. With our own industrial base crushed we will have no choice but to eat what we are fed at whatever price they demand.

People complain about abuse of power by the US; We will soon live in a world where the world's largest country (in terms of population) with the world's largest economy will be controlled by unelected dictators with no motivation whatsoever to adhere to standards of fair or ethical behavior.

Say hello to your coming third world existence.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294282)

Their carefully premeditated goal is nothing less than the destruction of the power of the west and the ascension of china to the pre-eminent power on earth.

*Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my underground lair. I have gathered here before me the world's deadliest assassins.*

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290204)

perhaps a subway train that drills its own tunnels, like a worm.

Well... there's this [wikipedia.org] , but it probably doesn't have the speed or general ferociousness you are looking for.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290266)

Yeah talk about boring.

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290592)

If you look at the video, it never seems to actually submerge though - is it in fact a sub?

Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (1)

scheme (19778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293126)

Sure ornithopters [wikipedia.org] are great, but what I really want is a personal submarine that looks like a shark [gadgetsfromchina.com] , or perhaps a subway train that drills its own tunnels [wikipedia.org] , like a worm.

That sub can't actually submerge. It looks like the intake and exhaust still need to be in the air for it to work.

How much is stolen? (0, Flamebait)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289882)

And how much of this tech is stolen from the USA and other nations?

Re:How much is stolen? (5, Insightful)

lp_bugman (623152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289938)

It's not technically stolen. We started by sending our manufacturing plants to China, higher Technical jobs, followed by Research jobs... Now China has l everything it needs to build new technology: Manufacturing + qualified labour + brains... Just yesterday i was thinking: Can US build a LCD with 100% us manufactured components... I'm thinking the answer is No.

Re:How much is stolen? (0, Flamebait)

sponga (739683) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289986)

What the hell are you jibbing about and what does that have to do with the UAV?

As far as I know we haven't outsourced our UAV development, so back to the topic of the article about UAV's and lets try to compare what they have copied.

One of them looks like a Tomahawk cruise missile, another lone looks totally impractical with the giant flapping wings and some other artist drawings of things like sea based ones.

Re:How much is stolen? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290110)

Ya kidding right? Do you think there's a factory in Wyoming that makes UAVs or something?

Re:How much is stolen? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290698)

It does look similar to a Tomahawk but that doesn't prove it was copied. Aircraft that serve similar functions will have similar designs. Even if it was - the outward appearance of a Tomahawk is public knowledge.

Re:How much is stolen? (2, Interesting)

sirrunsalot (1575073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290918)

As far as I know we haven't outsourced our UAV development, so back to the topic of the article about UAV's and lets try to compare what they have copied.

Of course you mean we haven't legally outsourced our UAV development to China [patentbaristas.com] .

Re:How much is stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292538)

> Just yesterday i was thinking: Can US build a LCD with 100% us manufactured components... I'm thinking the answer is No.

The answer is "yes, but...". Obviously we can't just flip a switch and meet the entire in-US demand for them immediately, because it takes time and money to build and staff and supply a high volume factory. But there are prototyping shops in the US (and in-house equivalents for some of the larger companies). They do very small runs of things, expensively, to test new product designs. You can still build anything electronic in the US that way, and can build the full production plant in the US if you need to. (Those plants in China are made from equipment shipped there from the US, remember).

We are not yet at the point where we have lost the expertise, either. Most of the design work is still done in the US. Most of the Chinese experts were educated in the US. Warn about these things as potentials that may happen if everything continues on the current path, not as inevitable unrecoverable already-happened doomsaying.

(And the reaction from the rare earth mining political flack has probably destroyed any chance of China *really* owning that market for the next 20 years...)

Re:How much is stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290028)

So what?

Re:How much is stolen? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290154)

By "stolen", do you mean "Based on"? Technology progresses by other people taking existing designs and adapting them.

Re:How much is stolen? (0)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290182)

True, but when those designs are classified military hardware, that is stealing.

Re:How much is stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34293242)

Yes, and what is paper-tiger-FAILmerica going to do about it?

Because Chinese never ever invented weapons or massive transports.. what? 3000 years before your loooooong past england relative was puking blod in the medieval times?

rite

Re:How much is stolen? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291782)

And how much of this tech is stolen from the USA and other nations?

It's not stolen. It's a knock-off of the Japanese Cherry Blossom Squadron. [wesleyan.edu]

Re:How much is stolen? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293356)

And how much of this tech is stolen from the USA and other nations?

About as much as US stole from ruined Germany to build its own missile program? Or USSR stole from US to build its nukes?

Which is to say, who cares once you have it working and ready to rain hell?

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289942)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wJHj3hOcuI Good for them, I demonstrated mine in 2007 and nobody wanted it.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290476)

I'm sure someone wants it - you just don't know the right people.

Only a matter of time (5, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289946)

before china and the west come into conflict of interest. That is why we need to move industry out of there to vietnam or another friendly country.

Re:Only a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289984)

Huh? Move "our" industry from communist China to communist Vietnam, a country bordered by China, Laos, and Cambodia--are you nuts or just being sarcastic? How about (a) lowering our corporate tax rate (ours is higher than communist China's!) and (b) removing impediments to manufacturing, mining, and etc. instead?

Re:Only a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290080)

Acutely, China and "the west" are in conflict right now. They are also cooperating on a huge number of levels, with continuous exchange of culture and ideas, as well as all kinds of goods. The reasons that "the west" wouldn't want to start a war with China are just as good and even more numerous then the reasons "the west" didn't want to fight the USSR.

Re:Only a matter of time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290096)

Or we could match China's de-facto tariffs with some of our own. You know, so we'd actually have a free market.

Re:Only a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34291786)

Or, get rid of the Unions, the EPA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the wage and hour laws, welfare, unemployment insurance, etc.

Most Americans seem to have trouble understanding that the people willing to sacrafice the most get the business in the World Economy.

Re:Only a matter of time (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292242)

Yeah, because everyone want to work under slave-like conditions.

Either you try to compete with that, or you understand that as the Chinese people will get richer and have more jobs they to won't accept any working conditions and start to demand more and hence it will balance out somewhat.

Though I guess you could stop buying items from them and hence slow down their economic growth, and then invest in areas where you believe you're better or could get on top of them for whatever reason. I don't know where though.

Maybe open more mines, grow more forest, plant more crops or something. I don't know =p

Re:Only a matter of time (1)

subk (551165) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290240)

Ahem... USA. Punk.

Correction (1)

damnfuct (861910) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289982)

*metres per second

copies .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290014)

J-10 looks like a rafale copy and C919 - is - a an airbus copy ... and one of the drones showed looks to be a perfect copy of an american drone ....
It seems western countries are stolen from China. I think China has enough brains not to stole from other countries.
 

Re:copies .... (1)

Sheen (1180801) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290044)

J-10 looks like a rafale copy and C919 - is - a an airbus copy ... and one of the drones showed looks to be a perfect copy of an american drone .... It seems western countries are stolen from China. I think China has enough brains not to stole from other countries.

No, i think china stole from the west.

No source? (1)

KrishanuAR (1499749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290032)

"The prototype on display has a take-off weight of only 220 grams with a maximum speed of six-to-10 meters a second and an altitude ranging from 20-200 meters. A spokesperson said the micro-UAV would mainly be used for low-altitude reconnaissance for troops in the field." This is not in the linked article...

Well, maybe in the next World War ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290038)

... a bunch of UAVs will get trashed, but no human lives will be lost . . . that would be an improvement . . . wouldn't it? I dunno, maybe I'm wrong . . . I guess it might help, if the UAVs are not armed with nuclear weapons. I'm reminded of The Far Side cartoon, where American pioneers with covered wagons in a circle are attack by American Indians. One pioneer says to the other, "Hey, they are lighting their arrows! Are they allowed to do that?"

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (5, Insightful)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290050)

One unintended consequence of the CIA's armed UAV air strikes is the US has basically said it is legal to target persons in third countries with UAVs. Sooner or later the Chinese will do the same. The US will protest, and China will remind them that they are only doing what the CIA has been doing for years.

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290632)

The regular air force does this now. You can join and be behind a desk and joystick piloting a UAV in a few years.

This is "mainstream" now.

http://www.popsci.com/drones [popsci.com]

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290840)

You say that as if China wouldn't do the same if we didn't do it first. Believe it or not, China is quite capable of coming up with its own ideas and taking its own initiatives.

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291080)

Yes China is completely capable of coming up with its own ideas. But because the US has already set a precedent, it will be impossible for the US to exert any meaningful diplomatic pressure on China to modify their behavior. Targeting people with UAVs is a tactic. As with all tactics, there are second and third-order effects. The second-order effects include collateral damage, accidentally targeting the wrong persons, or the killed "bad guys" that are replaced by more capable ones. The third order effects include loss of international prestige and loss of diplomatic influence. I doubt the tactical gain is great enough to offset the price paid by the second and third order effects. That was what I was trying to point out in my last reply. You can take it for what it is worth and choose to believe me or not. I used to operate UAVs in Iraq, so I do know what I am talking about in this regard.

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291090)

Hawks don't think that way though; the basic premise is the enemy is so intrinsically evil that your only option is to be evil first, beating him to the punch. Thus (by definition) a provocation or bad precedent by the good guys is just a head start on what would have happened anyways, since (unfortunately) the bad guys are so evil.

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291104)

The US protests as a matter of humoring the sensitive. Do note that China may oppress people in its sphere of influence, but hasn't bothered the US much after detente.

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34291314)

Unintended consequence? Countries have engaged in extranational executions for decades. Where have you been?

Re:Well, maybe in the next World War ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290114)

In protracted global war limited supply of high-tech weapons is quickly exhausted and it's good ole meatgrinder all over again. Sustained high-volume production is just too vulnerable because of it's complexity - one hard-hitting missile strike on critical factory and that's it, no more gizmos for grunts.

UAV nothing special (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290130)

I do FPV RC flying, and I have done 8+ hours gliding just around to where my radio transmission allows which is like 5 miles radious. If my govermene allowed me I could use more powerfull equipment and try to go from east to west coast, and I am very confident I would make it.

http://www.rcgroups.com/video-piloting-fpv-rpv-469/

Re:UAV nothing special (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292574)

Wow, so your hobby plane can fire a missile at a moving car and hit it? You must be a fucking genius! I can't understand why I've never heard of you before...

Re:UAV nothing special (1)

ewok85 (1705550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296392)

You don't seriously think that is difficult? Laser guided munitions have been around since 60's, AGM-114 Hellfire missile has been in combat use since the mid 80's.

I wonder how many are original development. (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290216)

My guess is: none. The notorious mode operandi of chinese military industry is to buy one or two pieces of a particular equipment (for instance, the finnish Patria AMV), pull it apart to the last bolt and nut, and copy the design. Chinese are supreme artists in this, and thanks to their powerful and flexible industrial base, they can start up production faster than anyone on Earth (at this point.

Various countries have sold them military drones. My guess is that none of those displayed is fruit of chinese R&D.

Re:I wonder how many are original development. (2, Insightful)

iinlane (948356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290430)

An UAV is mostly a software research project because hardware is mostly well understood. If they have copied an existing one without access to source code the machines will be outdated quite soon. Disclaimer: I work on UAVs and UGVs

Re:I wonder how many are original development. (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290580)

The notorious mode operandi of chinese military industry

That's mode of operation or modus operandi. HTH, HAND.

Re:I wonder how many are original development. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291112)

This is slashdot, need I remind you that "information wants to be free?" Inventions don't have loyalty.

Re:I wonder how many are original development. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34291338)

Does it matter? Our problem is that China has been sapping our industry by manipulating their yuan illegally, and we have allowed for the last 7 years. In addition, we have not cracked down on all of their spies. In fact, we keep bringing more and more here. We are our own worst enemies. Heck, the Chinese LOVE both of our politicians. Even our stimulus bill was changed by neo-cons to allow buying of loads of Chinese goods, there by stimulating their economy more than our own.

Re:I wonder how many are original development. (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292990)

Military research should be inherently transparent. All of the data should be open and shared in entirety. It would take the edge away from the nationalist psychosis rampant around the world. It's telling that the outcome is seen as a threat.

And your point being? (1)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293170)

And your point being? If you didn't know, the US and Soviets carried out "rescue" operations at the end of WWII to catch as many German scientists as possible, especially those who worked with rockets and jets. Werner Von Braun is one of the most famous example of this. The US called it, Operation Paperclip. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip [wikipedia.org] . Do you even have any proof that the Chinese copied Western designs other than the usual "the Chinese are inferior and primitive peoples, therefore they must have copied everything our superior Western World produced, durr!" racist shtick? I am getting really sick of the Sinophobia on Slashdot. I hope you guys don't buy into it and repeat the same things that you did after 9/11.

Re:I wonder how many are original development. (1)

Synonymous Homonym (1901660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296986)

I am shocked to learn from your post that China is extraterrestrial territory.

Bad news for the West (1)

Evil_Ether (1200695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290326)

a model under development, is about the size of a large duck and has flapping wings

Any army with robotic Ducks of Death, is guaranteed to win!

Re:Bad news for the West (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292484)

Are we allowed to shoot the laughing robotic dog if we miss?

I knew there was something odd about that duck... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293068)

That explains why I have always been suspicious of Peking Duck.....

"Cry 'Fowl', and let slip the ducks of war!" (my apologies to Shakespeare)

The short sightedness of governments (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290496)

I can't believe that no one has considered two possibilities of UAV technology. Firstly, in terms of cross border smuggling - which country will be able to afford to patrol their entire border 24/7 looking for a tiny UAV that is virtually undetectable? And secondly, UAVs can easily be turned into small cruise missiles with only a very minor upgrade. Never underestimate the power of 1 or 2 kg of high explosive delivered with GPS accuracy.

Re:The short sightedness of governments (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290588)

Firstly, in terms of cross border smuggling - which country will be able to afford to patrol their entire border 24/7 looking for a tiny UAV that is virtually undetectable?

A tiny UAV can't carry any meaningful cargo. A larger UAV will be detected by automated means before it can cross the border. If it crawls it will be seen by IR. If it flies it will be seen by RADAR.

And secondly, UAVs can easily be turned into small cruise missiles with only a very minor upgrade. Never underestimate the power of 1 or 2 kg of high explosive delivered with GPS accuracy.

We have numerous technologies for shooting down missiles. I suppose it would work for infrastructure attacks. Bug bomb activated...

Re:The short sightedness of governments (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290850)

A tiny UAV can't carry any meaningful cargo

      A comment which shows a surprising lack of imagination. How much does $5 million worth of diamonds weigh? Or how about large numbers of flights carrying small amounts of say, cocaine or heroin?

We have numerous technologies for shooting down missiles

      Yes but this is a model aircraft traveling at 35mph and 100ft in the air, with virtually no heat signature (especially the electric ones powered by lithium batteries) and very little radar signature. How will your 5 million dollar missile distinguish between this and ground clutter?

      As for infrastructure - right. You won't bust bunkers with this, but I wonder what a couple of them filled with incendiary material could do to a petrochemical tank farm or an oil refinery...

Re:The short sightedness of governments (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290898)

A tiny UAV can't carry any meaningful cargo

A comment which shows a surprising lack of imagination. How much does $5 million worth of diamonds weigh? Or how about large numbers of flights carrying small amounts of say, cocaine or heroin?

A single decent small drone with very short range is a thousand dollars. So you see, I have imagined this quite a bit.

We have numerous technologies for shooting down missiles

Yes but this is a model aircraft traveling at 35mph and 100ft in the air, with virtually no heat signature (especially the electric ones powered by lithium batteries) and very little radar signature. How will your 5 million dollar missile distinguish between this and ground clutter?

Your battery-powered drones are not going to be making any border crossings unless they are big enough for a Phalanx CIWS to shoot down, and similar but smaller systems could be put together. I mean, am I the only one who remembers two college students calling themselves U.S. Mechatronics putting together a sentry gun which just holds an airsoft gun? You'd alter the code a bit and you'd give it a semi-automatic .177 rifle set up to belt-feed, and loaded with expanding rounds. They're always going to be much cheaper to shoot down than to put up. That's just kind of a truism of aircraft. Beyond that, the federal government has a lot more money to spend shooting them down than will be spent on putting them up. It's a non-issue.

As for infrastructure - right. You won't bust bunkers with this, but I wonder what a couple of them filled with incendiary material could do to a petrochemical tank farm or an oil refinery...

the first time it happens it will be a shock. then sentry guns will be mounted on those facilities. We have the technology right now. RADAR can already pick up model airplanes, unless they are stealthy, which is still expensive to accomplish. There are cruise missiles all over the planet and available to those with cash already, and nobody is doing this to us now, so I think you're overstating the threat.

Re:The short sightedness of governments (1)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291724)

Generally I agree with you. However, a small UAV with a range of say.....500 meters would be all you need to smuggle across the border from Mexico to California in the urban areas.

The thing about that is that the payload is WAY too small for what they want to do.

Re:The short sightedness of governments (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292202)

The first attempts at stealth aircraft during WWII used wood as a construction material. One example would be the Horten brothers air wings. Wood absorbs radar waves to a large degree reducing RCS. You can also use composite materials to manufacture such aircraft. Many people have the facilities to construct either. The issue is the engine and the control systems.

Systems which use bullets to knock down aircraft are useless if the aircraft is flying high enough. This is one reason why we use missiles after all. Another fact is that any system which destroys its sensors and guidance on each use will be expensive. These systems may be cost effective against even more expensive manned bombers or fighters, but they are not cost effective against cheap mass produced drones. In that case you will need something else like the laser defense systems currently in development.

knock off's (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290654)

As others have noted most of these are knock-offs of US and Israeli designs, some of which have been flying since Vietnam - as is the case with many weapons systems of this type, sometimes it is inevitable you will lose one, and it will be sufficiently undamaged as to be a great aid in reverse engineering a copy.

OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290656)

We must bridge the missile.. uh I mean UAV gap!

ASN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290718)

And here I thought those guys [20m.com] were only on Battle.net.

This scares me a little bit (2, Insightful)

AlfaMike (1902786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290816)

An almost tyrant government with great military power. This never ended well for humanity whenever it happened in history.

Re:This scares me a little bit (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290922)

Actually, that's mostly the only way things have ever ended up even remotely good.

Re:This scares me a little bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34291406)

You should read up on South Korea's military dictatorship

Re:This scares me a little bit (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292258)

An almost tyrant government with great military power. This never ended well for humanity whenever it happened in history

... but it's only an issue than it happens to you?

(Say hi to Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, .. :D)

Maybe they just want to defend themselves. Wait and complain only if they don't. Your own "defense force" isn't really defensive.

(And neither are ours, why the fuck do we have CV-90s and such in Afghanistan? Should have medical equipment, drills, food supplies, agricultural machinery, blankets, tents, ...)

Re:This scares me a little bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292608)

derp

We can claim China is not original... (1)

pholus (127383) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290832)

but they are the ones building large new military forces at the moment and we are trapped in endless cost overruns and delays.

Re:We can claim China is not original... (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290842)

When you have a good portion of your population never seeing a paved road in their life it is no wonder they can afford it.

Re:We can claim China is not original... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291328)

"but they are the ones building large new military forces at the moment and we are trapped in endless cost overruns and delays."

Bit of an asserted conclusion there. :) "Having" cost overruns and delays doesn't equate to "trapped", and we have been at war with Iraq at varying levels since 1990. We have a highly experienced combat force, plenty of capable systems, and no existential military threats.

China BTW isn't a problem if we don't fight them, and I'm enjoying the changing reality because I reject the traditional "Jihad for Asia" death cult where the US is obliged to suicide for Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and other parasites we don't need.

The US isn't the master of Asia. That's a question for Asians to solve. Pearl S. Buck is fucking dead. Good riddance.

Re:We can claim China is not original... (1)

sgt101 (120604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291560)

Ok - the US spends $663B a year on military forces.

China spends (possibly) as much as $140B a year (in equivalent purchasing power).

What's the best way to attack drones? (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291288)

Go after the command and control satellites? Or create drones with the express purpose of hunting other drones?

Potentially faster than US made drones ... (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291398)

So what? The J-10 is also faster than an A-10. The Predator and Reaper are designed to maximize loitering time not get in and get out quickly or for aerial combat.

Three words (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291960)

Chinese missile tests.

Sure, they've got some Terminator in the sky, who's faster, more powerful, and will not stop, until you are dead.

The problems is, it seems like they are more concerned with image than actually making something that is reliable. I'm not sure quality control exists there. And if it does, it's piss-poor at best.

They maybe lamborghini's of the sky, but I'll be happy cruising my them in my '68 Mustang while they're stuck on the side of the freeway.

Undesirable image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292126)

"Predator" and "Reaper"? Doesn't that describe something predisposed to threatening behavior without provocation? Why would the US want the image of an unruly bully given the current political climate?

Me so solly! Me so solly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292530)

Ah, so! Ah, so! Me frappy dickie!

Exhibit One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292844)

Observe exhibit one, folded from a single sheet of highly compacted organic material, this unmanned glider, when launched from traditional fixed wing aircraft, has achieved ranges upwards of a 2 kilometers.

Drug Runner's delight Smugglers spie plane (1)

lsatenstein (949458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296026)

With small drones as offered by the Chinese, there should be a large number of organizations who are interested in surveillence (possibly illegal) to insure that smuggling can continue without fear of discovery. Watch the enemy is the keyword.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...