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Posts Tagged ‘spy’

War Evolves With Drones, Some Tiny as Bugs

June 21, 2011 Comments off

nytimes

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

A microdrone during a demo flight at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Two miles from the cow pasture where the Wright Brothers learned to fly the first airplanes, military researchers are at work on another revolution in the air: shrinking unmanned drones, the kind that fire missiles into Pakistan and spy on insurgents in Afghanistan, to the size of insects and birds.

The base’s indoor flight lab is called the “microaviary,” and for good reason. The drones in development here are designed to replicate the flight mechanics of moths, hawks and other inhabitants of the natural world. “We’re looking at how you hide in plain sight,” said Greg Read more…

Now, a spy plane that can be flown with or without a pilot!

May 12, 2011 Comments off

sify

A new intelligence and surveillance aircraft that falls into the category of an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) with its ability to be flown robotically or with a human pilot on board was unveiled recently.

It is claimed that the Firebird will allow the U.S. military to simultaneously gather real-time high-definition video, view infrared imagery, use radar and eavesdrop on communications, reports the Daily Mail.

Incredibly, it has an interface like a memory stick that can be plugged into a PC without the need for additional software.

Measuring 34ft-long and 9.7ft-high, the twin-tailed plane can reach a maximum altitude of 30,000ft and has a maximum flying time of between 24 and 40 hours, depending on its configuration.

Its wing span is 65ft and it has a pushed-propeller at the rear of its fuselage.he Firebird, which performed its first flight in February 2010, was designed and built in California’s Mojave Desert by Scaled Composites and unveiled yesterday by U.S. aero defence firm Northrop Grumman.

The aircraft was designed with the certainty of cuts in U.S. defence spending in mind.

“Firebird addresses future budgetary constraints by combining the best of our piloted and unmanned systems,” said Paul Meyer, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman.

Rick Crooks, Firebird program manager, described it as an adaptable system that is highly affordable because of the number of different missions that can be accomplished in a single flight.

The Firebird will be demonstrated in public from May 23 to June 3. It is currently unclear how much it will cost. (ANI)

Is China Backing Indian Insurgents?

March 23, 2011 Comments off

the-diplomat.com

The arrest in January of a Chinese spy who allegedly met insurgents in the northeast of the country suggests a broader effort to destabilize India.

On January 25, 2011, Wang Qing, a Chinese spy disguised as a TV reporter, was arrested and deported after she reportedly visited the headquarters of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN-IM—one of India’s largest and most troublesome insurgent groups. Indian authorities said Qing admitted to being a spy for the People’s Security Bureau, a Chinese intelligence agency, and that she had conducted a secretive four-hour-long, closed-door meeting with Thuingaleng Muivah, a key rebel leader of the NSCN-IM who is currently holding reconciliation talks with the Indian government. The rebel group, however, insisted that it was holding talks with the Indian Government in good faith and that it has had Read more…

Russia Working on Mysterious Space Plane of Its Own

February 5, 2011 Comments off

It’s official: the space race is on again.

54 years after the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik I satellite, sparking the original space race — and 20 years after the USSR’s collapse left America as the sole space superpower — the Russians are back on track. The Kremlin’s military space chief Oleg Ostapenko just announced that Russia is developing a small, maneuverable, reusable space plane to match the U.S. Air Force’s mysterious X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.

Russian industry has already outlined the craft’s design, Ostapenko said. “As to whether we will use it, only time will tell,” he added coyly.

But it seems unlikely Russia would forgo the opportunity to Read more…

Classified Spy satellite launched from California base

January 21, 2011 Comments off

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The largest rocket ever launched from the West Coast blasted off Thursday with a classified defense satellite on board.

The 235-foot-tall Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle lifted off at 1:10 p.m. carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The booster rose into the sky over California’s central coast and arced over the Pacific Ocean, a spectacle visible over a wide area.

United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of rocket builders Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., said in a statement that the launch was a success.

The launch was pushed back two minutes to avoid an object in space that could have been in the path of the rocket, said Michael J. Rein, a ULA spokesman.

No payload details were released. The NRO operates satellites that provide information to the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense.

This was the fifth launch of a Delta IV but the first from the West Coast. The other four launches were at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Capable of generating nearly 2 million pounds of thrust, the liquid-fuel rocket has a central core booster and two strap-on boosters that make the assembly 50 feet wide. An upper second stage takes over when the first stage is exhausted.

Preparing for the launch took three years and $100 million in infrastructure upgrades at Vandenberg, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The launch director, Lt. Col. Brady Hauboldt, said in a statement before the liftoff that the launch would mark a milestone by restoring heavy lift capability in the nation’s western range. The last heavy lift Titan IV-B was launched at Vandenberg in 2005.

In its past, the launch complex was once configured for West Coast space shuttle launches, which were canceled after the 1986 Challenger disaster, and the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory program, which was canceled in 1969. It was last used in 2006.

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