Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

* one thing i've been meaning to write about, given the dodgy stories about aluminium tubes, mobile weapons labs, nigeranium etc, is the other 'plank' to the iraq story - i.e. the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. I had presumed that something dodgy was involved in that part of the story as well and I'd been meaning to take a closer look.

Am watching the Senate Dem Hearings on Iraq - and Larry Wilkerson provides the details. Here's what happened. Saddam bought some mapping software - which had no connection with anything nefarious. The company that sells the maps simply offered to throw in the maps of the East Coast of the US for free. Apparently that's the entirety of the story. How bout that?

5 comments:

Simon said...

Luke,

There was a bit more to it than that, the UAVs were claimed to have a range greater than 150 Km, which they did, only problem is that they could only fly a circular (racetrack) route to maximum range cos they were radio-controlled and the signal didn't carry anywhere near that far. Second problem was that the 150 Km limit was set out in UN Resolution 687 and only applied to missiles. UAV's were neither considered by this resolution nor prohibited under international law.

lukery said...

thnx simon - i presumed that there was something more - i guess wilerson was only referring to the specific element regarding the possible threat to the US.

re the 150km - so the radius was less than 150km?

Simon said...

Luke,

From the ISG final report:

In June 2002, an Al Musayara-20 UAV flew a demonstration flight that lasted three hours and covered a total distance of 500 km, although a source with direct access claimed the UAV remained within 15 km of its launch point. The UAV was initially controlled by the ground control station, then switched to autopilot shortly after takeoff and remained on autopilot until recovery.

Trawl up and down the page - all is revealed.

lukery said...

thnx simon. you are a gentleman and a scholar

lukery said...

btw simon - is the ISG report generally regarded as objective/reasonable?