The Reaper – Courtesy Of Wikipedia Commons
The military has instituted the use of drones to do a lot of the aerial missions that are just too dangerous for pilots and the others in manned planes. Also, drones can take added risks because no person is endangered.
In today’s post, I am going to share 10 cool facts about military drones.
I believe you will enjoy this post; I know I am enjoying researching it.
#1: The Military Term
While shortened to drone, the actual term is unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). And the whole system with controls and launcher is called an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
#2: Primary Use Now
Military drones could be used for surveillance, there is a strong privacy battle against such uses.
The primary use of military drones at this point in time is the targeting and killing of enemy combatants around the globe. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the overseer of this program which takes place in countries such as
This is done by attached cameras and missiles.
#3: Drones With The Best Endurance
Developing drones that can stay in the skies for long periods of time are an important factor for the military.
There are new developments often and testing being done daily. But at this time, these are the 5 military drones with the best endurance in order:
- Global Observer Stratospheric Persistent UAS – 168 hours
- Orion Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) – 120 hours
- United 40 (Smart Eye 2) UAV – 120 hours
- Yabon Smart Eye UAV – 120 hours
- Phantom Eye HALE UAS – 4 days
The primary drone used by the United States military, The Predator, has an endurance of 40 hours.
But, the United States military does have a bigger, deadlier and faster drone in the skies now…
#4: The Reaper
Known as the Hunter – Killer… Here is a comparison chart thanks to Fast Company.
#5: Military Drone Operators
In the United States Army, drone operators have the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 15W.
Do not get the idea that this Army job is like playing a video game though. There is much more to it. Some of the duties and requirements include:
- Preparing drones for launch
- Perform basic maintenance
- and Interpret the images and video feeds from the drone
Training is long and intensive, about 21 weeks where the soldier learns principles of flight as well as the intelligence side of the job.
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Army Airspace Command: Top 7 Cool Facts
- The Top 10 Army Artillery Shells Of All Time
- Army 150U Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (TUAS) Operations Technician: Duties, Responsibilities and Things You Should Know
- Army Aviation History: Top 13 Amazing Facts
- Army UAV Operation: 18 Cool Facts
#6: The Inventor Of The Predator
The inventor of the military’s feared killing drone, the Predator, is Abraham Karem who owns and operates Karem Aircraft Inc. in Lake Forest, California.
#7: Drones Currently used By The United States Military
- RQ-11B Raven
- RQ-2A Pioneer
- RQ-7B Shadow
- QF-4 Aerial Target
- RQ-4 Global Hawk
- and the R/MQ-8 Fire Scout
#8: Who Led The Way With The Military Drone Idea?
The first thought of a combat drone came out in a 1940 edition of Popular Mechanics.
In 1973, a nuclear physicist by the name of John Stuart Foster Jr started working on the idea and drew up plans. In 1973, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency built 2 prototypes that stayed in flight for 2 hours and carried 28 pounds.
#9: First Use In War
In the Yom Kippur War of 1973… Israel against Egypt… Israel used United States target drones to entice Egypt to fire all their anti-aircraft missiles. Israel then used the depletion to their advantage.
#10: A New Type Of PTSD
It is called post traumatic stress syndrome.
It is a recognized issue with soldiers coming home from war torn areas. The killing causes serious issues that can lead to marriage and family issues, work problems and sometimes suicide.
But who would think that a person operating a drone from miles away could have PTSD?
It can, and does happen. Killing people is difficult and even though you are miles away, you still know you took the life of a son, husband, brother or father. No matter what, killing is not natural. It is a must, but it is not we, as humans, were designed to do.
So if you are a 15W or you know a 15W who is showing signs of PTSD, please seek help. We want you to be able to have a normal life like the rest of us and you deserve the help.
‘Nuff’ said. Because you know we value you and the service you gave.
What are your thoughts on using military drones in warfare?
It does seem to be a heated debate and I would like to hear all sides… Just be respectful with your comments.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed this post… If you did, please share it. Thank you.
About The Author
Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.