This is a discussion on Chinese UAV & UCAV development within the Air Force forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; it is like fighter pilot simulator ... look the size of LCD ... huge and very advance...
it is like fighter pilot simulator ... look the size of LCD ... huge and very advance
a picture of the Chinese globe hawk UAV from CAC. Not much to say, but it looks like a new prototype, the first one that we saw before was already painted.
I have heard arguments both ways about the future of fighter jets. Some people say that the future will definitely be UAVs because the only limiting factor now for fighter performance is human endurance. Without human pilots, fighters can be much faster and maneuverable, basically a mother missile with a bunch of detachable missiles. Yet, people in the other camp would say that the human element is crucial to winning battles. Machines are less able to react to fast changing situations during combat and only a human pilot can make decisions.
I, myself, favor the UAV argument. These unmanned fighters won't be going into battle by themselves, totally automatic. They are still controlled by human pilots although they are sitting hundreds miles away. These UAV pilots can see everything that a human pilot physically sitting in the cockpit can see. So these UAV pilots have all the necessary resources that a fighter pilot in the cockpit would have to make a decision. So the decisions are still been made by human with feelings and intelligence. Yet, thes UAVs would be so much better, in terms of performance, than a pilotted fighter, and have a much better chance of winning a fight.
What is your opinion?
Last edited by vesicles; 06-05-2009 at 05:35 PM.
UAVs or at least RCUAVs will make the cut.
Pilots need to cope with danger of blackouts and g-forces limiting them, UAVs don't and won't immediately cost a human life on failure.
Unless the production of a UAV has over the top costs compared to a conventional piloted aircraft, or cyber warfare gets the cake in which case human controlled aircrafts are slightly less screwed than UAVs.
Which throws up the question wether its better to actually try a UAV with mounted weapons or simply make a UAV thats just a seeking or RC type "missile". And wether a combination of both makes sense.
Something to consider with UCAVs is how they are controlled.
The current man-behind-a-screen method works fine for recon and bombers firing hellfires or dropping LGB/JDAMs etc, but there is a time-delay that increases with distance from the controller.
I don't think I need to spell out how critical any delayed response would be in a dogfight (its less of a problem for BVR, but then the UCAV's biggest advantage of potential ultra-agility is also less useful at BVR).
This means UCAV operators face a choice of either basing its controllers close to the frontline, where they are more exposed. And the operators will be a prime target for the enemy. Or basing them further back, in safer territory, but suffering longer lags.
The alternative is independent AI, but that raises all sorts of control and safety as well as morality issues. Of course, the technology required to develop fully autominus AI that can take on a human pilot and win is far more complicated then anything we have today, so that will push the in-service date of any such aircraft further back.
UAV is definitely the way to go.
personally i prefer a RCUAV arrangement, with a human in the loop. in air-to-air engagements, missiles will eliminate the need for dogfights making the delay due to distance less of an issue.
UAVs are good for air support missions, but i highly doubt UAVs are ready for the cream of modern aerial battlefront: air superiority. dogfights is essentially like CQB or melee combat. (sorry for the bad comparisons). dogfights, like cqb and melee combat, are extremely fast paced, operate under heavy stress, very close proximity, and the outcomes are very sensitive to every factors in effect as disadvantages in the variables may work against the fighting forces involved. what the last section means is that losing sight of the target, or slightly less observance of the situation, can be decisive enough to say win or lose.
in this case, even though the pilot may be at the ground piloting the UAV, it is not the same. not being first person, i think the pilots may react differently than at the scene. this includes psychology and the mentality of being safe behind the screen than making decisions inside the canopy. also until UAVs are able to project 100% visual image of what the mark I eyeball can do, and as fast, the UAVs are still in disadvantage. adding on top of that, i think the skills of a real fighter pilot was developed and shown in the air than on the ground, so i think UAVs will never be able to perform what the pilot can do in the air. not only that, the pilot's instincts, skills, will be limited to his reactions on the ground. not only is that a bad thing, i think it degenerates the quality and skills of a fighter pilot as he now has less flying hours. of course this means anyone can be trained to do the same, and less strict conditions, which also can be a bad thing as quality selection has been lowered.
behind the screen knowing g factor is not an issue can be bad too. the pilots will be less sensitive/aware of the environment. being able to experience the g force can help the pilot understand what the target may be experiencing, so this "g force concept" can be a good and bad thing.
lastly, i think that a fighter pilot in a mig21 can outperform a UAV because of who's first person in the situation and by experience. being in the situation means more aware of the situation, and as well, the environment a fighter pilot originally strives. it's been shown numerous times that even for an older aircraft of technological disadvantage, outperform a new one due to experience and skills
I also agree that UAV control time-lagging is a serious problem NOW. But I believe that this problem can be solved easily with the pace of telecommunication developement that we enjoy nowadays. The same can also be said about 100% visual as this would be a couple of camera away.
Further, pilot in a cockpit also does not have 100% visual at all times. He/she has to twist and turn to see what is next to them, and even more importantly, behind them. That is why attacking from above and at 6 o'clock angle is alway the golden rule in dogfights. Most of the dogfight tactics are deisgned to explore this disvantage of the inability of the pilot to maintain visual awareness all 360 deg. Yet, this won't work with UAV operators sitting in front of minitors. With all monitors capturing 360 deg view placed in front of the operator, he/she can keep 360-deg-situation-awareness at all times. No one will be able to sneak up to them from behind and hiding in the sun.
I think by the time UAV's become smart enough and powerful enough to replace manned fighters, air power will become obsolete anyway because of ground based lasers.
Armor will be back in style, and aircraft will only be used for recon. And so there will be no need to put risk human lives.
But until lasers take over, are human-remote controlled UCAV's at risk of jamming? They need to receive instructions from home base after all. Maybe artificial intelligence would prove superior there. But that could have scary consequences as we saw in the movie Stealth
Interesting, this is Shanfei's attempt into UAV.
西洽会期间，公司与首家客商国家测绘局签订了《开发基于无人机的低空摄影测量系统》合作意向书。此前，“翔 雁”无人机完成8个起落的飞行试验验证，飞行平衡，地面视频图像清晰完整，能按程序完成各项任务，标志着“ 翔雁”无人机跨入自主飞行无人机行列。
“翔雁”无人机采用菱形联结翼气动外形、前三点式起落架、发动机后推式布局。机身、机翼、起落架均可拆卸和 组装。采用模块化设计和选用先进的自动控制、 GPS导航等系统，能够自主飞行，适应能力强，可以用作气象探测、人工降雨、航空遥感、治安巡逻等多用途民 用无人机平台，也可完成可执行目标指示、电子干扰、信号中继、战场侦察预警、战场评估、通信中断、空中监控 、边境巡逻等任务，市场前景广阔。
技装公司立足长远发展，以航空为本，积极开发新的支柱产品。2007年3月组建了无人机研发试验室，9月完 成模具设计和制造任务。2008年5月 2日，该型首架机在城固柳林机场试飞成功，验证了气动外形取得了该型无人机的阶段性成果，9月28日第二架 机试飞成功，11月6日进行了第三次试飞，滑跑距离60米，空中姿态平稳，操纵灵活，当时机场有5级大风， 能稳定飞行，安全降落，验证了飞机具有较好的抗测风能力。12月安装自动驾驶仪，加装视频传输系统，做地面 联调。2009年3月达到自动驾驶飞行状态，3月14日至15日在陕西凤翔机场进行自动驾驶飞行试验，8个 连续起落，实现了自动控制飞行姿态，自动按照设定的航点飞行，通过无线视频传送系统发回的空中地面监测视频 清晰稳定，取得满意效果。
basically talking about Shanfei signed a deal in April with State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping for "development of low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle based on the photogrammetric system, I guess that's what XiangYan is for. It had first flight in May of last year, did several more flights subsequently that year. Talks about use automated control to fly and then sent the data back to ground station wirelessly.
The actual link had some more stuff. The plane is 2.7 m long, the wings is 4 m wide and can loiter for 15 hours at 110 km/h. It says that it could enter the military market. But I think just based on the specs and the openness of this project, this is intended more for civilian market.
The last I heard for UAVs was that they could soon be hovering over many
Stellenmarkt British cities to spot people inside their homes and to eavesdrop on their conversations.
According to the Daily Express, British lawmakers have backed the use of the eight million pound machines by police forces and Stellenangebote other agencies including MI5. Crowd control, anti-terror surveillance, maritime searches and support for the Coastguard, police, fire and intelligence services are all uses being considered.
Last edited by Blegemoth; 08-10-2009 at 03:05 AM.