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Attack of the Drone Clones, mid-2013. Hypothetical Scenario.

 

Image: A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. Photo by U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson. Source: Wikipedia.

 

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the Middle East Battleset and the HCDB-130505 1980-2015 Platform Database.

This scenario is designed to be played mainly from the Blue/CIA-Saudi Arabia side. You should play many times first the Blue side to avoid spoilers, and only later play a few times the Red/AQAP-Yemeni side, if you've interest on it, but I think the victory conditions are almost impossible to get for an AI-controlled Blue side.

These aircrafts of many names, sometimes called pilotless, remotely-piloted vehicles (RPV), unhabited or unmanned air vehicles (UAV) or simply drones, were they of remote controlled or of autonomous flight, were in the aviation history from his begin, from the very early not manned flying prototypes (as the Samuel Langley's Number 5 of 1896), but those facts are not usually remembered. And later, from the First World War era Low Aerial Targets, Kettering Bug and Larynx, to the inter-wars Reginald Denny experiments and to the long series of Ryan Firebees from 1951, employed fully operational in Vietnam War (particularly for SAM sites hunting), in the Arab-Israeli Wars and in China overflights. As example to illustrate the extensive and widely use of drones historically, at least 578 drones were lost in action over China and North Vietnam between 1964-1975.

From the 1980s advances in electronics, computing, remote sensors technologies and the Digital Revolution made more factible practical application of them to air vehicles and to the current use of pilotless aircraft. They're the Drone Clones.

From Cold War end about 1991 and more from the September 2011 World Trade Center attack, the changing international situations and climate and the Global War on Terrorism recommend and permit the widely use of drones first on intelligence missions and supporting special forces operations, and later in strikes against terrorist and his leaders.

As stated, previously his limited previous use not was cause of technical limitations, the determinant fact for his employ is the political approval (tacit or explicit) of his use in countries harboring terrorists, and as stated a drone is a nimble, of not very instant manoeuvre and fragile aircraft and habitually without RWR, and if it's detected easy prey for a fighter (as demonstrated in the few occasions this has happened, as in Georgia in 2008 or in Iraq in 1999), as consequence his use requires the connivance of the state in the strike receiving end.

As conclusion, at the current state of art, drones strikes only can succeed on air supremacy conditions, without any opposition of enemy fighters.

But only on the last years, from the early November 2002 Yemen drone attacks against Al Qaeda terrorist leaders, with the diffusion of the Predator series and the targeted killing tactics and strategies the mass media do attention to these aircraft on his headlines.

This scenario is based on historical facts and has place in a very exotic country, with reminiscences of the Arabian Nights, near the Queen Balkis old Kingdom of Sheba and the skyscrapers of Sana'a, traversed by frankincense caravans or Three Wise Men, and south of the Empty Quarter Desert where perhaps lurk some innominate things without face neither soul near the nameless lost city of Iram of the Pillars, things without face neither soul as the headless aircrafts nowadays flying on his skies.

On this scenario the air supremacy is not guaranteed. Because the menace of radical Islamist compelling the Yemen government to prevent drone incursions targeting his leaders and militants, with the excuse to avoid risk to the Yemeni civilian population, the Yemen government in this scenario is forced to used his armed forces to prevent the drone incursions.

This scenario pretends also to show contemporary power relations and proxy actuations in the Arabian Peninsula.

 

Unnamed places are:

Saudi Arabia:

ATa Tabuk/King Faisal AB, TUU/OETB

AUa Jeddah/Prince Abdullah AB, JED/OEJN

AXb Jeddah/King Faisal NB, -/OEJF

Yemen:

ZFa Al Anad AB, -/OY74.

ZTa Al Hodeida IA, HOD/OYHD.

ZUa Taiz IA, TAI/OYTZ.

ZVa Sana'a IA, SAH/OYSN.

 

Notes: this scenario is qualified as historical because it shows the complete Saudi and Yemeni air OOB in 2013, and with 104 aircraft in the USAF inventory, MQ-9 Reaper is probably the armed drone employed by CIA from his not so secret base in Saudi Arabia for the attacks in Yemen.

 

Enrique Mas, May 2013.

 


What's New in Version 05/22/2013 05:36 PM   See changelog

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