Danger Room - Wired Blogs: "MIT Professor Theodore Postol has proposed what he describes as a more politically palatable way of delivering missile defense: putting the interceptors on long-haul drones instead of parking them in the ground. Postol's idea is to develop a new kind of 'boost phase' defense that could target missiles as they slowly lift off from the ground. The missiles, he writes in a New York Times op-ed, could be delivered by long-range, stealthy drones:"
The NYT piece referred to here contains a statement by Postol that we already have B2 drone-robots IN THE AIR!
The B2 is that scary bat wing thing we only built so many off because it cost $$$$$$$$$$$$. Remember Bush's "siock n awe?" These were then bimbers that flew in, undetected by Iraqi radar. BUT, I suspect a drone version would be a lot cheaper and lots more scary! Imagine a supersonic, stealthy robot?
This creature could change everything ... imagine Israel protected by a "shield" of B2 robots with a counter shield flying over Iran? How would WE feel here in the safety of sea girded America if the Chinese were to patrol off our shores with their version of this thing. Who gets to patrol the North Pole?
One day later from the BBC:
It is thought the first test flight will take place in 2010
BAE Systems is working on two very different UAVs.
Mantis is a large pilotless aircraft, with a wingspan of 22m, can stay airborne for more than 24 hours and operate at more than 40,000 feet.
Speaking to the BBC, BAE's head of communications, Adam Morrison, said the Mantis could survey or patrol an area with great accuracy.
"Most UAVs are controlled on the ground, even if that control is a bunker somewhere in the US. Because of the human element, you're never going to get a precise and regular course over time.
"With Mantis, you can cover an area with almost regular monotony, which means not only constant coverage, but you can spot if anything in that area has changed.
"You could also use it for maritime patrol and with the autonomous nature of the plane, all you need to tell it is which airfield it takes off and lands at, the length of runway and off it goes."
The other UAV it is working on - Taranis - is very different. The £124m, four year project to develop it hopes to create an unmanned, stealth, deep-strike aircraft as part of the Government's strategic unmanned air vehicle experiment.
Initial ground trials are scheduled for late 2009, with a maiden flight scheduled for 2010.
More on Robobomber?
The B-2, which can carry nuclear or conventional weapons, is today’s only stealth bomber. The 2018 bomber will be akin to a mini B-2: smaller, stealthier, and equipped with newer computers and communications systems that make it easier to change missions on the fly.and a near term use for the robobomber?
MOSCOW – Russian news agencies cited a top defense official Wednesday as confirming that a contract to sell powerful air-defense missiles to Iran was signed two years ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.
Russian officials have consistently denied claims the country already has provided some of the S-300 missiles to Iran. They have not said whether a contract existed.
The state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies and the independent Interfax quoted an unnamed top official in the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service as saying the contract was signed two years ago. Service spokesman Andrei Tarabrin told The Associated Press he could not immediately comment.
Supplying S-300s to Iran would change the military balance in the Middle East and the issue has been the subject of intense speculation and diplomatic wrangling for months.