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Next:WARPLANES: Cheap Alternatives To Expensive Jets
November 8, 2007: Israel
has come up with a very effective combination of micro-UAV and guided missile.
The 13 pound SkyLite B UAV, which can be backpacked into action and used by
infantry. The SkyLite has the ability to
calculate the GPS coordinates of anything it sees. The UAV operator makes the
decision, and can then pass those coordinates back to the operators of Spike ER
guided missiles. These 80 pound missiles have a range of eight kilometers. This
sort of system has been proposed before, but last year the Israelis actually
used it, successfully, last year in Lebanon, against elusive Hizbollah fighters.
Israel is offering the UAV (and controller) for $50,000. Each Spike ER costs
$100,000, and the U.S. is interested in using cheaper smart bombs, shells or
rockets, in place of the Israeli missile. It's just a matter of transmitting
those GPS coordinates to the pilot or artillery unit, in order to get your
smart weapon launched.
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