Friday, January 16, 2009

Coming Soon: Red UAVs

Everyone's wild about lethal UAVs, right? This may be true for the simple reason that they are all ours--armed Reapers and armed Predators. What happens, though, when the bad guys get these things? This delicate subject of so-called “red UAVs” came up today in AIR FORCE Magazine's online Daily Report. Tagged "Preparing for the Inevitable," the short piece reports that the Air Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev., is now developing the means to oppose enemy UAVs, when the dread day arrives. Here's the money quote, from Lt. Gen. Norman Seip:

"When, in the future, we encounter a near-peer or asymmetric threat, or a terrorist organization that has [UAV] capability, we're going to certainly need to be working toward active techniques so that we can counter those capabilities."

Seip oversees the 432nd Wing at Creech AFB, Nev., which is the operator of the service's MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. Clearly, this is an issue of some importance to the Air Force. There has actually been quite a lot of analytical work done on this matter, though it rarely sees the light of day in Washington. And we note that Army, Navy, and Marine Corps--who fought so hard to keep the Air Force from gaining executive agency over UAVs--don't seem to be doing anything here. Or have we missed something?

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