Elon Musk: ‘F-35 fighter jets would have no chance against drones’

 

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Elon Musk has suggested Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, which are a key part of the Morrison government’s $200 billion investment in defence, would “have no chance” against an autonomous drone in the battlefield.

“The fighter jet era has passed,” Mr Musk said at the US Air Force’s Air Warfare Symposium in Florida.

“Drone warfare is where the future will be. It’s not that I want the future to be this – it’s just, this is what the future will be.”

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US Navy deploys first anti-drone laser dazzler weapon

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Artist’s concept of a laser weapon in action

The US Navy has successfully installed its first Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) laser weapon aboard one of its warships. During dry-dock operations, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) received the stand-alone laser system, which is designed to blind the sensors on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

The ODIN laser isn’t the first to be deployed on a US Navy warship. That honor goes to the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Laser Weapon System (LaWS), which was deployed on the USS Ponce (LPD-15) in 2014. However, this experience by the team behind LaWS at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division provided the expertise needed to complete the development of ODIN.

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Hydrogen-fueled Drones Will Inspect U.S. Gas Pipeline

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Public-safety drone consultancy Skyfire Consulting has announced a partnership with UAV company Doosan Mobility Innovation and hydrogen-fuel service provider ReadyH2 to tackle a pipeline-inspection project for an unnamed American company.

Doosan will deploy a hydrogen-powered octocopter. The drone sports a hydrogen-powered generator fueling two hours of flight time per mission over nearly 50 miles.

ReadyH2, in cooperation with parent company Fortress UAV, will be responsible for providing a ready supply of hydrogen gas for the project.

The six-month mission will establish inspection procedures for a domestic gas pipeline.

“Distances like that are simply not possible on battery technology,” Skyfire CEO Matt Sloane said.

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Chinese scientists create ‘game-changer’ methanol battery that keeps drone in the air for 12 hours

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Developers of FY-36 say they overcame ‘tons of problems’ to create alcohol-fuelled battery that allows 15kg (33lb)6 drone to fly for up to 12 hours

With 15 test flights under their belt, Chinese team achieve methanol-powered flight before German company

Scientists working on a drone development programme created a “game-changing” methanol-powered fuel system that kept their UAV in the air for 12 hours.

It took them more than two years to get the FY-36 unmanned aerial vehicle to the flying prototype stage, said Zhang Wenyu, general manager of Feye UAV Technology, a Tianjin-based drone manufacturer that collaborated with the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in northeastern Liaoning province.

At 15 kilograms (33 pounds), the low-noise FY-36 can be lifted by an adult or transported in a pickup truck, and designers said its hybrid aerodynamic shape – with four vertical propellers – can allow it to cruise at speeds as high as 90km/h, or 56mph.

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Turkey is getting military drones armed with machine guns

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The Songar drone can accurately hit targets from hundreds of metres away, according to its manufacturer

A drone with a machine gun attached can hit targets with high precision, according to its makers. Turkey is set to become the first country to have the drone, when it gets a delivery this month.

The 25-kilogram drone has eight rotating blades to get it in the air. Its machine gun carries 200 rounds of ammunition and can fire single shots or 15-round bursts.

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Jet-powered VTOL drone is like a quadcopter on steroids

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The current AB5 JetQuad prototype has a claimed top speed of 250 mph (402 km/h)FusionFlight

While propeller planes certainly do have their place, sometimes the extra speed and thrust of a jet engine is what’s really needed. Dallas, Texas-based FusionFlight has applied that sort of thinking to quadcopter-style drones, resulting in the AB5 JetQuad.

According to the company, the AB5 is “the world’s smallest and most powerful jet-powered drone with vertical take-off and landing [VTOL] capabilities.”

Instead of the usual four electric motors and propellers, the current prototype has four diesel-powered microturbine jet engines which produce a combined 200 horsepower (149 kW) at full throttle. Thanks to a proprietary vectoring system known as the H-Configuration, the thrust from these engines can be directed either to move the drone vertically when taking off and landing, or horizontally while in flight.

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7 Anti-drone weapons used by the military and law enforcement around the world

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Drones can be used for some very nefarious activities. For this reason, armies and law enforcement need some effective means of countering them.

Drones are, frankly, awesome. But there are some bad actors who could use them for nefarious activities.

For these reasons, many companies around the world, including engineering-giants like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, are producing anti-drone weapons to counter the potential threats drones can offer.

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Amazing ‘Ghost plane’ created by 800 drones at air show

 

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Eight hundred drones came together to create a ‘ghost plane’ in the sky, in a display reminiscent of Gandalf’s fireworks in the Shire.

Visitors to the 2019 Nanchang Flight Convention were treated to a majestic skyscape of glowing drones, creating what appears to be a propeller plane, an airliner, and a fighter jet.

The spectacular choreography was just one part of the convention, an industry event designed to show off China’s latest developments in aviation, space travel and drone technology.

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China is selling autonomous killer drones to the Middle East

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Chinese military contractors have already started to sell dangerous, autonomous killer robots to customers in the Middle East.

For instance, a Chinese company called Ziyan is actively marketing its Blowfish A3 — an autonomous helicopter-like drone armed with a machine gun — to international buyers, according to Defense One. While several countries have been working towards this tech for years, this news means we’re finally, and unfortunately, living in the era of killer robots.

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How cheap robots are transforming ocean exploration

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Backed by billionaire philanthropists and Silicon Valley venture capitalists, a wave of entrepreneurs are developing high-tech, low-cost technologies to probe the watery realms we still barely understand. Are the oceans finally getting their moon-shot moment?

The robot was born out of a treasure hunt.

It all started in 2010, when Eric Stackpole was a promising young engineer designing satellite technology as an intern at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He was simultaneously working toward a master’s degree at nearby Santa Clara University and was prone to procrastinating. Lately, he’d become taken with the idea of building his own underwater robot.

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Drone II : The drone delivery market map

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As part of DRONELIFE’s participation in the FAA’s Drone Safety Awareness Week, DRONELIFE will feature stories according to the themes outlined. Today, we focus on drone delivery.

As high-profile drone delivery companies like Wing, UPS Flight Forward, and Zipline have made headline after headline this year, the hype around drone deliveries has become bigger than ever. But is it really all hype, or are we on the brink of major change in the way that goods are transported? Over the past two months DRONEII has conducted thorough research into the drone delivery market to bring you the latest market updates and answer all your burning questions. Here’s just a small snippet of the content that we’ve compiled into our latest Drone Delivery Report.

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The drone wars are already here

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A Bayraktar TB-2 unmanned aerial vehicle.

The skies of Syria, Yemen, and Libya swarm with armed and dangerous unmanned aerial vehicles. And the technology is spreading farther and farther afield.

The Kurdish fighters emerged from a tunnel and were spotted by a Turkish reconnaissance drone. As they were loading ammunition onto a truck in a parched Syrian landscape, the drone fed their coordinates to an F-16. It attacked seconds later, sending a huge ball of flames into the air. When the smoke cleared, there was nothing left but a crater—a success, Turkey’s defense ministry declared, as it released a video of the strike.

Turkey’s use of drones in such operations is highlighting the changing face of war in one of the world’s most volatile regions. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) turned the tide in Ankara’s decades-old counterinsurgency against the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party in the country’s southeast, northern Iraq, and Syria. In addition, the deployment of drones has saved the lives of Turkish soldiers and money for the defense ministry. Now it’s using UAVs to gain the upper hand against the Kurdish party’s sister organization, the People’s Protection Units. After U.S. troops began withdrawing on Oct. 9, Turkish drones, in tandem with fighter jets, started pounding a strip of land along the border with Syria to clear the way for its troops. “In most cases, they reach the scene of the attack and confirm the enemy was totally destroyed,” says Nihat Ali Ozcan, a strategist at the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara. Altogether, at least three different types of drones have been deployed: mini drones used for surveillance and photography, the much larger Anka-S surveillance drone, and the Bayraktar TB-2, Turkey’s only armed drone.
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