Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Unmanned Spy in the Sky Techs Need Your Support

As soon as man figured out how to fly through the skies in a balloon, he began to spy on his neighbors and enemies. The trouble with a darn balloon is that it is a big, slow moving target which played havoc on pilot longevity. Along comes the airplane and things get a little better because the pilot can fly high and fast. However, not without serious consequences as Francis Gary Powers discovered in 1960 when the Russians shot down the American U-2 spy plane he was piloting as he sprinted across the Soviet skies.

Now we have an assortment of unmanned aircraft that do all sorts of nifty things. Aerovironment, Inc. has small hand launched aircraft that are quite handy for ground troops.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. makes a much larger series of Preditor unmanned aircraft. Larger types of unmanned aircraft can conduct surveillance as well as serve as a firing platform for missiles, such as the Hellfire Missile. One such aircraft is pictured here.

The Iranians are now claiming that they shot down an American “spy drone.”

Iranian troops have shot down a U.S. pilotless spy plane recently, an Iranian lawmaker announced on Tuesday as the Islamic Republic was facing increasing military pressure from its arch rival -- the United States.

The aircraft was brought down when it was trying to cross the borders "during the last few days,"
What size of unmanned aircraft was allegedly downed is not stated, and I’ve not seen any U.S. acknowledgement of such an incident. But, it is certainly likely that we are flying unmanned aircraft at or over the border into Iran.

Our unmanned aircraft programs are supported by a phalanx of civilians in the field, who are very much in harm’s way just like our military personnel. They live under the same conditions as our fighting people. Let’s keep those civilians in our thoughts and send them the same support as you send to the military people.