Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Wired: Drones’ Suicidal Cousins Lead Libya Attack

Wired Magazine's Danger Room brings news of the active use of a new generation of cruise missile:
When the U.S. military wanted to take out Moammar Gadhafi’s air defense systems, it unleashed a barrage of 122 Tomahawk cruise missiles. But these munitions aren’t like most others in the American arsenal.

Smart, maneuverable, able to see its surroundings and shift to new targets in mid-flight, the newest Tomahawks are closer to the unmanned planes flying over Afghanistan than to the weapons they fire. In some ways, the Tomahawk is the drone’s suicidal cousin: a robotic aircraft, packed with explosives, that has no intention of ever coming home.
The article's worth a read.... The current crop of missiles are reviewed as to capability, with a nod to the past history of the cruise missile. Most interesting is news of yet another generation of cruise missile, one that will certainly add to the impression of a 'post-modern' phase of warfare:
... if an experimental Air Force program pans out. ... The X-51a aircraft is designed to test technologies for a next-gen cruise missile — one that would fly at six times the speed of sound. Which means tomorrow’s cruise missiles could be like suicidal, smart, and more than eight times faster than today’s Tomahawks.

1 comment:

  1. This therefore suggests that warfare is moving away from the conventional ideas of, for example, trench warfare, and has been technologically advanced with the introduction of drones and other robotic aircraft.