US Seeks To Block Spread Of Unpiloted Aircraft Technologies
Washington (AFP) June 11, 2002
Unpiloted aircraft are one of the key weapons in the US campaign against terror and Washington wants to keep that technology a secret, a senior State Department official told Congress Tuesday.
In testimony before a subcommittee of the US Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee, Vann Van Diepen said the technology that allows military commanders to survey battles from afar and attack targets by remote control could be used by terrorists to deliver a devastating chemical or biological attack.
"Dealing with that threat has been a part of US nonproliferation efforts for over 15 years, and we have been strengthening our ability to impede and cope with it," the acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation said.
An increased reliance on unpiloted aircraft, or UAV in military jargon, and the "dual-use nature" of much of the technology requires the United States to "keep working hard to keep pace with the threat," he said.
Remote-controlled technology dates back to the 1940s, when the first cruise missile, the unguided German V-1 "buzz bomb," terrorized London during World War II.
The United States has honed the technology to develop its Predator and Global Hawk remote-controlled drones, both of which were deployed by US forces in Afghanistan in their offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets.
Predators beamed real-time images of Afghanistan via satellite to US-based military commanders. Additionally, as was used in an attack on a compound where Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar was believed hiding, the new technology has evolved to the point where the drones are able to carry and launch weapons of their own.
Such technology is likely coveted by other nations -- including those listed as state sponsors of terrorism by Washington, Van Diepen said.
Iraq has converted light reconnaissance aircraft to unpiloted status as a possible way of delivering chemical weapons, he said, while India has used unpiloted spy planes to keep tabs on nuclear-armed rival Pakistan.
Washington has since imposed export controls on such technology and has established an assistance program to help other countries develop export controls of their own, and has added the threat of sanctions against those who will not cooperate, Van Diepen said.
"In some cases the diplomacy surrounding sanctions or waivers can result in positive nonproliferation progress," he told lawmakers.
All rights reserved. � 2002 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express
SkyNet Will Guide Unmanned Vehicles into Battle
Los Angeles - Apr 24, 2002
With an increasing number of unmanned vehicles taking up positions on the modern battlefield, UCLA researchers are designing a portable, rapidly deployable network that will allow these robotic agents to communicate.
FireScout Gets 26-Minute Autonomous Workout
San Diego - June 10, 2002
The U.S. Navy's RQ-8A Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned air vehicle (VTUAV) technology demonstrator successfully completed another autonomous flight test June 7 at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Calif.
DARPA Spins Up Northrop Grumman UAV Efforts
San Diego - Jun 03, 2002
Northrop Grumman Corporation will study an unmanned combat armed rotorcraft (UCAR) program that will provide enhanced reconnaissance and attack capabilities for U.S. Army aviation. The study constitutes a significant milestone to develop unmanned systems for the Army.
Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle First Flight
Edwards AFB - May 23, 2002
The X-45A Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle technology demonstration aircraft completed its first flight here May 22.
Northrop Grumman Gets Contract Bost For Unmanned Combat Plane
El Segundo - May 21, 2002
Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems sector will continue its work on a naval unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV-N) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy under a recently awarded modification to an existing agreement.
India Tests Upgraded Unmanned Spy Plane
New Delhi (AFP) May 9, 2002
India on Thursday successfully tested an upgraded version of its indigenously developed unmanned spy drone "Lakshya" (Target) in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, defence officials said.
Dassault, Sagem Announce Plan To Develop Tactical Drones
Paris (AFP) April 17, 2002
The French aerospace group Dassault Aviation and electronics equipment maker Sagem announced Wednesday an agreement to develop pilotless aircraft, or drones, for military use.
US Air Force Moves Ahead With Production Of Global Hawks
San Diego- Apr 1, 2002
Two contracts totaling nearly $300 million recently awarded to Northrop Grumman Corporation for Global Hawk will enhance the overall performance of the unmanned reconnaissance system.
American Spy Drone Crashes While On Patrol In Southern Philippines
Zamboanga (AFP) Mar 31, 2002
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by United States forces in operations against local allies of the al-Qaeda group crashed into waters off the southern Philippines Sunday, officials said.
Pegasus Prepares For First Flight
El Segundo - March 26, 2002
Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector has completed several milestones in preparation for the first flight of its X-47A Pegasus experimental unmanned air vehicle. Earlier this month, the Pegasus flight test team successfully completed its third engine run test. That test, conducted March 16, as well as the earlier engine runs in December and January, are in preparation for the X-47A's first autonomous engine run later this spring.
Northrop Grumman To Begin Initial Production Of Global Hawks
San Diego - Feb 5, 2002
Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a $101 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to begin low-rate initial production of the Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance reconnaissance system.
Northrop Grumman Awarded $41.5 Million Global Hawk Contract
San Diego - Jan. 30, 2002
Northrop Grumman Corporation was recently awarded a $41.5 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for engineering and manufacturing development efforts for the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle system.
UCAV Named "Best Of What's New", Completes Low Speed Taxi Tests
Arlington - Dec 11, 2001
Popular Science magazine's 14th annual Best of What's New issue (December 2001) recognized the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/Air Force Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) system as one of the world's most interesting and noteworthy breakthrough products and technologies. UCAV received the grand prize in the aviation and space category for representing a significant step forward in the field of aviation and for saving human lives by keeping pilots out of harm's way.
Washington Sharpens Eyes With Global Hawk Deployment
Washington (AFP) Nov 26, 2001
The US military stepped up its surveillance in the skies over Afghanistan this week with the deployment of its latest pilotless spy plane, the Global Hawk. In the hunt for suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network as well as members of the Taliban militia, the Pentagon is resorting to the services of the ungainly Global Hawk, a state of the art spy plane built by Northrop Grumman, to sharpen its eyes and ears.
UAVs And Satellites Critical To Terminating al-Qaeda
Washington (AFP) Nov 17, 2001
An end game appeared to be emerging after the most decisive week in the 42-day-old US campaign in Afghanistan: an intensive drive to kill or capture al-Qaeda leaders before they can regroup from the Taliban's crashing fall in the north.
CIA Gets New Powers To Eliminate Bin Laden As UAVs Get Armed
Washington (AFP) Oct 21, 2001
US President George W. Bush has explicitly ordered the CIA to eliminate Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, and has granted the agency sweeping powers to do so, the Washington Post reported Sunday, quoting senior US government officials.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.