Sunday, June 1, 2008


Following up on my previous post on how avaiation has permeated into all branches of the US military, this video shows the Raven - the most successful UAV used by the US in Iraq.

It is launched by throwing it into the air, can fly for 60 mins, and can have a normal videocam or an infra-red camera. Because of it's small size, it can be packed into a backpack and carried by a patrol unit or special-forces team. And since it operates on batteries, it is silent. If operated at night by a special-forces squad, it is undetectable. The batteries can be charged in a humvee, just like your cellphone. So usually a patrol squad, launches it for 60 mins, brings it down, swaps in another battery, and off it goes up again; meanwhile the old battery gets charged in the humvee.

This UAV is so succesful, that around 9,000 seem to be in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. A package costs around 250k USD, and has 3 UAV's and 1 controller laptop and some batteries.

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