The Global Hawk
This is a photo of the Global Hawk UAV that
returned from the war zone recently under its own
(Iraq to Edwards AFB in CA) - Not transported via
C5 or C17.....
Notice the mission paintings on the fuselage.
It's actually over 250 missions....
(And I would suppose 25 air medals).
That's a long way for a remotely-piloted aircraft.
Think of the technology (and the required quality of
the data link to fly it remotely).
Not only that but the pilot controlled it from a nice
warm control panel at Edwards AFB.
Really long legs- can stay up for almost 2 days at
altitudes above 60k. The Global Hawk was
controlled via satellite; it flew missions during
OT&E that went from Edwards AFB to upper Alaska
and back non-stop.
Basically, they come into the fight at a high mach #
in mil thrust, fire their AMRAAMS, and no one ever
sees them or paints with radar. There is practically
no radio chatter because all the guys in the flight
are tied together electronically, and can see who is
targeting who, and they have AWACS direct input
and 360 situational awareness from that and other
The aggressors had a morale problem before it was
all over. It is to air superiority what the jet engine
was to aviation.
It can taxi, take off, fly a mission, return, land and
taxi on it's own. No blackouts, no fatigue, no relief
tubes, no ejection seats, and best of all, no dead
pilots and no POWs.
Pretty cool, huh?
This is an amazing weapon!!