TR-X concept

WASHINGTON: “The world of manned reconnaissance is gone, and soon manned reconnaissance itself will be gone.” So says Charles E. Allen, whose opinion on such matters carries more weight than most. Charlie Allen joined the CIA in 1958 and spent the last seven of his 40 years there as assistant director of central intelligence for collection.… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: China’s newest drone, the Caihong 5, appeared in last night’s huge military parade in Beijing. Chinese media are comparing the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone to America’s MQ-9 Reaper, which with up to four Hellfire missiles and two 500-lb. precision-guided bombs under its wings is the baddest drone known. (Today’s parade is ostensibly put on… Keep reading →

osrvt - textron photo

  Graduation season is ending, but some people are still waiting for final exam results. Take for example the Army offices that manage the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle — that service’s version of the armed Predator drone – and Textron’s One System Remote Video Terminal, a laptop soldiers on the ground can use to see… Keep reading →

AH-64E with Gray eagle

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.: Manned-Unmanned Teaming, when manned aircraft crews control drones from their cockpit, is a child of the drone revolution still in its infancy. So maybe it’s no surprise that Army Apache helicopter units with new AH-64Es equipped to control MQ-1C Grey Eagle armed drones have gotten off to a crawl rather than a run using… Keep reading →

MQ-9 Reaper drone.

WASHINGTON: We love being able to say “we told you so,” and today we can. During a 30-minute conference call with reporters Monday, the president of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Michael Toscano, used the word “drone” four times. Not too long ago, Toscano might have washed his own mouth out with… Keep reading →

In mid-June, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta took a seat in front of the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee and warned of the dangers of large, across-the-board reductions in national military spending. Panetta called such cuts “a disaster” that would severely compromise American security.

The Secretary is right. Even in times of severe fiscal challenges, the government needs to keep financing military development programs that genuinely enhance the safety and efficacy of our American soldiers. Blind penny-pinching puts their lives at risk. Officials should identify particularly promising projects and focus their dollars on them. Keep reading →

CAPITOL HILL: The US must not go ahead with planned cuts to the Afghan National Army and police, a panel of experts urged the House Armed Services Committee today. Instead, we must keep spending $6 billion a year to support 350,000 Afghan security personnel, go slowly on drawing down our own forces — and escalate the drone war in Pakistan by striking Taliban sanctuaries previously off-limits. Keep reading →