posted on Sep, 24 2013 @ 06:58 PM
reply to post by boymonkey74
Yep...it's a target drone. The (not-so-subtle) hint in the article is the mention that the F-16 in question "sat mothballed at a base in Arizona".
Davis-Monthan AFB has a lot of early block F-16s in storage.
As for using drones as actual fighters, it might happen someday. Strike that...it will happen someday, and not necessarily because of cost, or even
concern for the pilot's life, but for pure performance reasons. Not having to carry around a cockpit, life support system, and pilot means that a
drone aircraft of identical performance can be smaller, lighter, and not bound by the G load limits of a human body. Those are pretty considerable
On the down-side, we don't have the technology (yet) for truly autonomous drones, and the time lag involved in remote operations can be a
deal-breaker in the split-second environment of air to air combat. (All current and former WoW / EQ players, let's hear it for raid lag!!!
There's also the problem of securing your data link with the drone...having the enemy hack your fighter cover is a 50 DKP minus!