Information Warfare: July 7, 2004

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: The United States is undertaking a crash program to install real time transmission of gun videos from AC-130 gunships to ground troops below. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) AC-130 gunships have video cameras attached to its weapons, and the video files from missions  are eagerly sought after by ground troops. Its not just for entertainment value, but to get a better idea of how the gunships are operating and what operations look like from up there. Now that ground troops can get live video UAVs overhead, the question was raised about why the same could not be done with the video pictures the AC-130 gun ships were generating with their high tech night vision equipment. Each of the 21 AC-130 aircraft will require $200,000 worth of new equipment (Target Video Downlink). Some AC-130s already have equipment on board that allows them to receive live video feeds from Predator UAVs. Eventually, in the next 5-10 years, the Department of Defense wants most combat vehicles, warplanes and warships to be able to instantly share video and other electronic data. The AC-130s are expected to start doing this within a year.

 


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