The capability of armed forces to employ ‘Kinetic effects’ by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have evolved in the past decade from science fiction into reality. Soon after the first Hellfire was launched from a Predator UAV on a test in February 2001, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated drones were sent to Afghanistan to hunt Osama Bin-Laden and his accomplices.
Since then, armed Predators became synonyms for the ‘Global War Against terror’, taking part in continuous warfare throughout Central Asia- from Somalia, Yemen and Iraq, to Afghanistan and Waziristan, in North-Eastern Pakistan. Today, more ‘Killer Drones’ are employed by a number of U.S. government services – taking part in covert operations, as well as by the regular military.
Defense-Update is posting today an overview of the miniature weapons currently in development for small UAVs, (some are already operational).
Our survey touches the smallest unmanned killers – new miniature loitering weapons that can be launched from the air, land or sea, and carry out selective, pinpoint attack over several kilometers. Exotic names like ‘Switchblade’, ‘Anubis’ are only a few of these new programs that could shape the future battlefield in ways we couldn’t imagine before… (Read Part V – Suicide Micro Drones) http://defense-update.com/features/2010/december/31122010_suicide_uavs_5.html
Linked to these pages are many new articles, which detail the various products, including Griffin, LMAMS, Switchblade and Anubis, ATK’s GPS Guided Munition, and the U.S. Air Forces’ Dragon Spear.