In February, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) in Great Britain unveiled its plans for modernizing its military. Curiously similar to the US Army's recently killed Future Combat System, the British program looks to bring a new generation of unmanned vehicles, advanced sensors and energy weapons to the battlefield.
However, unlike its American counterpart, it looks like this project is a go.
The MOD has opened bidding for the chance to produce one of the centerpiece projects of their modernization program, the Novel Air Concept. The Novel Air Concept is a proposed UAV that can transition between plane-like forward flight and helicopter-like hovering, utilize energy weapons, and work in an urban environment. Additionally, the MOD wants a flying prototype ready for testing by 2012, with an operational model ready by 2015.
The costs of the project remain classified, but UK Defense companies BAE Systems, MBDA, and Cranfield Aerospace have already submitted proposals.
The US has recently tried to shift its acquisitions away from Cold War-era projects designed to fight the Soviet Army, and towards technology useful in the current conflicts, and the emphasis on the urban applications of this UAV indicate the British have made a similar change. Hopefully, if this UAV gets operational sooner rather than later, they'll let us borrow a few of them.
The UK can barely afford to buy a new aircraft carrier and they think this will be affordable???
lol good point
Still pretty cool :)
This puppy will be a tad cheaper than an aircraft carrier, so yes it will be affordable.
... and given the proven success of the US UAVs, what military power can afford not to look into this?
I am interested in the "utilize energy weapons". Which energy weapons are these?
Looks very similar to the Northrop Grumman UCAS that is already being produced.
Well, it certainly looks nice. The weapons loadout looks lighter than on a Predator (Preds have 6 hardpoints and can carry up to 14 Hellfire missiles), but the hover capability could prove useful.
Ah, the good old days when America was the arsenal of democracy. Now FCS is dead, the Chinese are building stealth UCAV's faster and cheaper than we can, and soon, we'll need to buy ours from the UK. Ah, the times, they are a-changin' ....
now it's even easier to decimate the civilian cattle....
wake up folks, the pie shrinks. What's likely next?
Im skeptical, AGAIN....sounds like people are daydreaming again.
Ill only believe their serious about it until theres a squadron of those patroling somewhere
Freak Face, just wait until one o' those bad boys comes screamin' through your house. You'll look out the window, "AH SCHNIZZLEBISCUITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" LOL.
Forget cost. They build it, they prove it, and they sell it to us (the USA).
Scrub our government waste, throw in some English resolve, and bang, the country has a money maker.
It's a cool looking concept alright. I wonder if the design can be adapted for a low-silhouette concept for a next-generation destroyer, wouldn't that be neat? Cost a HUGE fortune, though.
If you take of the lazer than I might tend to believe it more than before
then the government better watch out, for im comin after their "SCHNIZZLEBISCUITS", im not a very violent person, but I bite. My dream home is a state-of-the-art nuclear bunker somewhere in a third world country. Lets see that thing come at me, then well see how it can dodge a DIY modified sound seaking stinger missle flyin at it if it gets close.
that is pretty cool, it would go perfectly with one of those microwave weapons
When you look at if, it looks like it has no wheels. Where are the landing gears? It's still pretty cooooooooool.
it* I have pretty bad spelling. They should have spell-check.
I hate to rain on the MOD's parade but as far as I'm aware the UK doesn't actually have any directed energy weapons to mount on this.
Or maybe, they just want you to think that........... oh the uk dont have this, they dont have that, ohhhhh dont worry, then we come and slap you with something you didnt expect, its pretty simple, the uk have been around long enough to know how hide things.
I like how naive y'all are. We are busy building Terminator step by step and many hundreds of advanced technology folks (most either with billions of dollars in the bank like Bill Gates or Ray Kurzweil) or people who are recognized thought leaders like Vernor Vinge and Stan Ulum (who often have advanced degrees) - all these folks keep saying that we are headed for a technological singularity in 20 years or less.
Meanwhile - we want to build autonomous weapons platforms that can operate in urban environments and we've already proven time and again that we don't have too much issue firing missiles that don't always hit their mark, i.e., we are ok with collateral damage so long as we achieve the greater goal.
This greater goal (so far as I can see) is: scaring the populace and ensuring that trillions of dollars continues to flow into military development and operations while we systematically continue to destroy the biosphere of this planet and polarize all the people's of the world into different groups - thus the end of the egoic age we are now part of.
I can only hope that Terminator happens and we learn our lesson - thou it may require the deaths of 6.2 billion people to arrive at the point in the future rational age whereby the 500 million of us who will likely be left can come to a better understanding that maybe we shouldn't do what we are presently doing again.