SKYNET IN THE SKY, BASICALLY.
Fly Like an Arrow
A Singapore-based aerospace company has developed a combat drone capable of reaching supersonic speeds.
Kelley Aerospace unveiled their concept for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the Arrow last week, according to Auto Evolution. The drone’s capable of flying more than 2,600 nautical miles at mach 2.1, or 1,611 miles per hour. That means the drone can fly from Los Angeles to Tokyo in a little over three hours — all while breaking the sound barrier.
Oh, and: It looks, straight up, like a UFO.
Despite its $9 million to $16 million price tag, the drone already piqued the interest of buyers, garnering 100 pre-orders. Prospective customers are likely interested in the drone’s potential to give combatants a creepy, fast, carbon-fiber-lightweight edge in warfare.
“The Arrow is designed to complement manned aircraft and be a force multiplier in aerial battlefield,” the company explained in an information sheet.
Like many drones currently in use, the Arrow is capable of being controlled by an operator. It can also take off autonomously, which — if you haven’t seen the Terminator series — is pretty freaky, no? The UAV can also be flown in a fleet of aircraft as part of a larger mission.
Sources at Flight Global indicate that two more UAV prototypes from Kelley Aerospace are being tested in the US and Sweden. Their drone developments are just a small piece of the larger trend of drones in military use.
For the past three decades, UAVs in warfare have grown immensely. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the United States had only a few drones at hand. Now, there are more than 7,000 UAVs being used by the US for military purposes, according to PBS International.
So while the supersonic Arrow is an undeniably cool piece of tech, it’s vitally important that we keep in mind the context in which it’ll be used and the ultimate purpose it serves: As a weapon of war — and a very deadly one at that.